At the nadir of sensitivity

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Yogesh Srivastava
Yogesh Srivastava

A distinct feature of the recently concluded Abilities Mela was the job fair meant for the physically challenged. People from a few call centres and a Gems SEZ had put up stalls at the fair. While it was heartening to notice improvement in opportunities for the disabled, the fair was also disheartening for the simple reason that it did not have many recruiters from software firms.

Expectations of the call centres were limited to customer support and technical support, and those of the SEZ to the monotonous skill of gem cutting. An engineering student at the mela shared his frustration over the rude questions he faced during the previous interviews with software giants. They included: “How will you climb the stairs when the lift goes out of order?” and more: “What will you do if you are stuck in a traffic jam?”

Those recruiters could have been put to acute embarrassment by a simple question. And that would be: “Doesn’t your esteemed organisation have ramps and wheel chair assistance for the disabled?”

At a time when religion-based strife is becoming a tool to disrupt harmony, an individual’s effort has won him Godfrey Philips Bravery Award and made all Hyderabadis proud.

Yogesh Srivastava’s humanitarian and single-handed effort to shift the injured to the waiting ambulances after the blast at Mecca Masjid last year, braving his own life, remained unsung and unheard of mostly until the bravery award was presented to him recently.

Srivastava’s spontaneous gesture then was not appreciated by a mob, as he was a ‘Hindu’ They gave vent to their fury by attacking him and he too had to be admitted in hospital. But the gesture of Yogesh, a Red Cross member running a medical shop, did not go in vain. Elders from the Muslim community later visited him and personally thanked him for his help, he recalls.

But the moment of utmost satisfaction and pride came from what his young daughters and wife said about the Rs.70,000 ex-gratia he received from the government.” You did not care for your own life and we value you, not the money. Donate the amount to the needy.” That’s precisely what Srivastava did by constructing two toilets in Government Maternity Hospital. Sure we need more men and women of Yogesh’s ilk!

Hyderabad Collector Navin Mittal is homeless – literally. More than a month after he took over, he is staying in the Dilkusha guest house. Reason, his predecessor, R.V. Chandravadan, continues to occupy the official quarters at Banjara Hills. The latter has not been able to get suitable accommodation forcing him to stay put in the Collector’s bungalow, it is said.

Mr. Mittal is ill at ease living in the guest house with his family. Absence of privacy is the biggest drawback as Dilkusha is always crowded by visitors.

It was a programme hosted by an airline company and promoted by a regional television channel and one a newspaper. Given the involvement of so many organisations, one would expect the programme to be well organised and entertaining.

On the contrary, it was confusion and disappointment that prevailed at the programme. Right from reading the names of persons on the stage to the reasons behind conducting the programme, organisers had goofed up leaving the newshounds totally confused and annoyed.

Each time they posed questions seeking details, the only answer from the organisers was, “We would get back to you in a few minutes”. And that never happened!

Swathi V.,

M.L. Melly Maitreyi,

J.S. Ifthekhar and

S. Sandeep Kumar



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