The Internet of Things took a new meaning yesterday when the H&FW Minister wrote me a mail. Yes, the Honourable Minister personally addressed me –an obscure pensioner! In nearly 60 years, the Government has communicated to me only twice: (1) Once a Traffic cop handed me a ticket for parking in a ‘No Parking Zone’ (the clever idiot had hidden the signage behind a tree!) and (2) an Income Tax officer disallowed an 80c rebate of Rs.1273 for an investment in Rajiv-Gandhi-something-or-the-other Scheme (I should have invested in a deceptively similar Rajiv-Gandhi-some-other Scheme). Did the Government finally re-discover my existence? I was really excited now; I called my wife to the see it on the monitor. We read the e-mail together.
His Excellency first greeted me on the occasion of the “Global Handwashing Day”. Huh? I understood Global warming but I didn’t know the first thing about Global Handwashing. Oh-oh, I should’ve guessed—it was our PM’s way of improving governance. Everyday our politicians are washing their hands off some problem or the other. If they set apart only one day for washing their hands off, they could genuinely attend to problems on other days. Like our PSUs and Government Departments which celebrate “Customer Service Day” and keep themselves completely free to kick your ass on the other 364 days. What a superb idea!
Ooops! Silly me, always reading between the lines. He meant that I should wash my hands, literally. And the Hon. Minister wanted me to make a habit of it. He said that “this habit can save lakhs of under-5 children from dying due to diarrhoea”. Wow, really? I didn’t know I could make such a large difference. What an inspiration Mantri-mahoday, I hear and I obey. I have been to the wash-basin 57 times in the last 24 hours.
I only hope the Environment Minister doesn’t write me a personal letter on the World Water-saving Day. That would be a shame, when I am saving all these lakhs of children single-handedly!
Mantri-Mahoday = Honourable Minister
Lakh = Hundred Thousand
PSU= Public Sector Undertaking