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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

all about leakages

Leakages have now hit the TPDS – Targeted Public Distribution System. ‘Leakage’ is a euphemism for mishandling of assets by inefficient people at the helm of affairs. Every year the Government defines certain measures for those below poverty level – subsidized food grains is one of them. But, the benefit does not reach them. The reasons are known to all – thieves down the line, wastages (due to poor storage conditions) and distribution to those who are certainly not below poverty line. These are termed as leakages!

Leakages are as old as mankind itself.

I, for one, still recollect my school days when I learnt how to cope with leakages, leaking fountain pens to be precise. We were brought up on ink, liquid ink. The branded ones came in sealed bottles – there were blue black, royal blue, red and green colors, among others. For the less affluent, there used to be ink tablets or tiny powder packets, the contents of which had to be dissolved in water to get the ink. They came cheap, only you had to have a pen that did not leak!

Then came leakages associated with question papers. Normally, these would be isolated instances where the over enthusiastic teacher would disclose to his or her near and dear students a few of the questions that were sure to come in the exams. This was privileged information, meant only for a selected few. The objective was clear - the students would secure good marks and, the teacher would gain recognition of being a good teacher!

Subsequently, ‘paper leakages’ became a well managed business. We have coaching classes mushrooming all over the countryside – each of them promises ‘sure set of questions’, of course, in return of suitable monetary considerations. The extent of its reach is tremendous.
Then we come to leakages in the Annual budget. Finance ministers, over the years, always have had some surprises up their sleeves. Every year, just before the D-day, rumors flood the market – the FM will increase tax on this or that. So, buy and stock them before D-day. Several times there were proposals to demonetize certain high value currency notes: implementation was not possible because the news leaked out!

Leaking is the name of the game.

That wonderful advertisement of a product that could seal cracks in pipes and prevent leakages depicted it all. The greediest of the sons was more interested in getting his father, who was on the death bed, to sign on the dotted line so that he could lay his hands on the property. He did manage to get the signature but he had not reckoned with leaking pipes – one drop of water falling at a rather inopportune moment on the most critical of locations obliterated the ‘1’ that came before the zeroes!

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The Reader’s Nook

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