How Govt shut eyes to corruption in NRHM recruitments in Budgam
Unqualified candidates appointed, highly meritorious one dropped by CMO
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
When results were declared in local daily Greater Kashmir on 28-09-2010, many of the highly meritorious candidates fainted. They and their parents complained to every possible quarter that unprecedented corruption, nepotism and favouritism had marked selection of almost all the 115 appointees. Irregularities were pointed out in the selection in all the 10 blocks of Budgam, Beerwah, Chadoura, Chhatergam, Chrar-e-Sharief, Khag, Khansahab, Magam and Soibug.
Nobody listened to the complainants, who also lamented that most of the selected were from the latest batch of a private Hospital and those having passed the diploma 10 to 12 years back and having gained field experience of years had been dropped. It was pointed out to everybody from CMO and DC Budgam to Director of Health Services that even the candidates, who failed in diploma, had been selected in consideration of huge amounts of money.
CMO, Dr Abdullah, got the entire exercise of selection done through his trusted touts like Pharmacist Nisar Ahmed Dada, who has been operating as de facto CMO with his posting at the same office for over 16 years. Resident of Magam, Dada made it a point of prestige that his neighbour, Mudassar Sharief D/o Mohammad Sharief-ud-din R/o Mazhama, Magam, should not be selected.
Result notification gazette of State Medical Faculty (SMF) in year 2008-09 shows that Mudassar Sharief (Roll No: 4954) passed her diploma in the FMPW course while securing 241 marks out of 350 i.e. 69%. Even in the viva voce, she fared the best among all candidates. She found herself dropped in the selection.
Mudassar’s surprise turned into outrage when she observed that even the failed candidates and those having secured less than 40 percent marks had been selected in almost all blocks. For example, Amreena Akhtar D/o Ghulam Mohammad Rather R/o Patwaw stood selected at serial number 13 of the list for Budgam block. Same result notification in the SMF gazette is evidence that Mudassar’s batch-mate, Amreena (Roll No: 4977), has obtained just 110 marks out of 350 i.e. 31% and thus clearly failed. Since Amreena had done the needful with the help of touts, her name figured among the selected candidates.
Others dropped in Budgam block included Shaheena Sofi of Bemina (Roll No: 4979) who secured 207 marks, Rubeena of Bemina (Roll No: 4959), who got 193 marks in 2008-09 batch, Shahida Sheereen who passed in 2005-06 batch with 200 marks and had three years of field experience while working on Hospital Development Fund at District Hospital Budgam, and many others with higher merit and years of experience as FMPW.
Nursing Orderly turned Medical Assistant, Ghulam Mohammad, who is also running a chemist’s shop at Watirwani village, collected a handsome amount from parents of Mumtaza Akhtar D/o Manzoor Ahmed Khanday R/o Sebdan, who was selected and figured at serial number 5 of the Budgam block list. She did not join for several months and demanded the money back as she was simultaneously selected in Northern Railways. In December, Mumtaza returned and decided to join as FMPW in Budgam. She was not allowed to join until she was further fleeced, allegedly to the tune of Rs 20,000.
Dispute over the bribe money Mumtaza paid through Medical Assistant Ghulam Mohammad and Tabassum Bano of Bemina (serial No: 8) paid through cameraman of a local cable TV channel to the CMO’s touts, remained in wide public knowledge in Budgam for months. Tabbasum’s argument was that she was selected on the basis of her merit and should get the bribe money back.
Insiders revealed that in the last four months, CMO and his touts, particularly Dada, have been making and breaking short lists for selection of 100-odd class 4th employees in regular service of District Cadre. On one point of time, they devised the mechanism of accommodating their favourites on the basis of fake diplomas so as to get them an edge over those who had secured more than 60 and 70 percent marks in the qualifying examination of matriculation. However, that dubious plan was not approved by Director of Health Services.
Before the CMO’s attachment earlier this week, he had decided to shortlist all those who have secured 45% marks and above to ensure selection of his favourites. Sources said that as against 100-odd incumbents, more than 1000 candidates in the competition are those who have secured 60 percent plus in Matriculation. Rate of Rs 100,000 has been openly fixed for each Class 4th post.