Friday, January 19, 2018

Who’s looking out for the common man?

 While the public servants have a shoulder to lean on, the question begs: On whose shoulder does the common man cry? In recent days, the nation has once again witnessed another upheaval thrust upon our citizens by the directives of others, resulting in stress, inconvenience, desperation and loss to many.

Without a doubt, health and safety standards are priorities at a workplace, but what are the standards required of wor­kers in their capacity as public servants? Their primary paid responsibility is to citizens and to the nation: to serve, serve and serve. The common saying that “work is worship, duty is God” needs to be stu­died carefully by public servants who have been directed to sign, leave and collect a salary, drawn from the very citizens’ taxes. This leads us to wonder what has suddenly opened the eyes of workers to those same conditions they have been tolerating for decades. What is the agenda?

The daily ordeal citizens are made to endure is a most painful one and their tears surely will not be in vain. Poor folk undergo severe sacrifices: leaving home in the wee hours of the morning, in some instances, travelling long distances, standing for hours in the waiting line and then to be denied service. This is most disparaging. 

Does the union or the public servants spare a thought for those whom they are paid to serve? Who is there to fight the cause of the ordinary man? Which union ensures the poor man does not lose his flight because of closure of some office? Will the union look after the health and safety concerns of the patient who has missed his medical appointment abroad on account of union action? Who is there to protect the rights of the common man? 

I ask who should be held liable for the inconvenience, distress and financial losses experienced over the past weeks by many unfortunate citizens who dared to request a service that is duly theirs? Where is the conscience, the spirituality and the desire to earn a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work?

Paramacharya Pt Hardeo Persad

Spiritual Head, SWAHA