Reports of tainted meat and dairy products, vegetables with intolerable levels of pesticide have become everyday affairs. Ministers and other high level officials make rush visits to vegetable market and pronounce harsh punishment to those involved in tainting food. But nothing really happens toward improving the quality. Similar is the story of dairy products and drinking water.
According to a recent report out of 36 milk samples, 33 have been contaminated with Coliform bacteria. And our air is polluted, roads are dusty. Hospitals are reporting ever increasing cases of air and water-borne disease. Many children are suffering from asthma due to polluted air in our cities. People have to go through great pains to carry out even the basic daily routine.
With the two-thirds majority, the current government has all the power in the world. The government is in the position to right the wrongs. However, the lack of coordination and synergy among different ministries, departments and different levels of government has only added chaos and confusion to make things happen. Department of Food Technology and Quality Control under the Ministry of Agriculture is supposed to take the lead in monitoring and investigating cases of food adulteration.
However, such cases are rarely taken to court and the department’s routine market monitoring during major festivals is merely public propaganda. Similarly, there are dozens of consumer protection organizations but they are nowhere to be seen. Some of these organizations are being led by the same person for decades now.
Yes, railways, highways and international airports are urgently needed to jumpstart our economic engine. However, our prosperity and overall development also depends on quality healthcare, good education, roads, drinking water and efficient transportation and communication systems. These systems in aggregate contribute to the greater progress and health of our nation. The Office of the Prime Minister must instruct concerned ministries and departments to carry out their works at the earliest so that people can at least get pure drinking water and vegetables without pesticide.
Nothing should stop the current government from making changes that directly benefits the overall wellbeing of the people. Can we please begin our reform process from the seemingly simple things?