Teachers & Doctors To Become Highest Paid Civil Servants In Bhutan: New Scheme Puts Health, Education At Top

Image Credits: Savethechildren, The Bhutanese

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Health and education are undoubtedly the two strongest pillars for a modern-day democracy to flourish. Time and again we might have come across random social media posts reminding us of the worth of doctors and teachers in a thriving nation. However, in most cases, those are brushed aside as tenets of a utopian society, as teachers and doctors in India still continue to voice their grievances demanding better pay for a dignified livelihood.

While India might still need some time to grasp the idea, our neighbour Bhutan has already set an exemplary precedent by introducing a pay scale where teachers and medical professionals happen to be the highest-paid civil servants. Nearly 8,679 Bhutanese teachers and over 4,000 medical staff would be eligible for his benefit, states The Indian Express.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

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Doctors get 45% hike, teachers get 35%+10% over basic pay

As per the Performance-Based Incentive (PBI) component of the latest pay hike, MBBS doctors have received a 45% hike on their basic pay while teachers have been offered allowances worth 35%+10% over and above their basic salary. The implementation of the scheme would result in teaching becoming the highest-paid profession in the country.

The pay revision scheme was unveiled in the cabinet on June 5, 2019.

The scheme will ‘overturn’ the bureaucratic hierarchy

A detailed report published in The Bhutanese highlights how this decision can ‘overturn’ the infamous bureaucratic ‘hierarchy’ that had developed over decades in the Himalayan country.

While declaring the scheme, the cabinet stated that the teachers and doctors are overworked but not properly compensated. It also highlighted how teachers play a key role to shape the future of the country while doctors are saving lives day and night. The pay revision was executed considering these factors.

 

Health workers also come under the ambit of the pay revision. Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering acknowledged their contribution as invaluable. He also declared that healthcare is the priority of the government and they would continue to improve it in every way possible.

Incidentally, Bhutan’s Prime Minister is also a practising surgeon who treats patients for free on weekends and free time.

Efforts For Good take

Despite being a small country with a sparse population of 8.08 lakhs, Bhutan had been consistently making headlines for their exceptional efforts towards development. The country has been championing sustainable developments for quite a long time as well as prioritising the right causes rather than entertaining political propaganda. It is high time that India adopts a lesson or two from their immediate neighbours.

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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

Image Credits: Savethechildren, The Bhutanese

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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