About Me

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The name is Selvamani.R. I was born in Rangoon, Burma now known as Yangoon and Myanmar respectively. I had my schooling in I.E.S. .Khalsa School there in Rangoon and came to Tamilnadu, India, did my Pre-University in Sir Thegaraya College,Chennai and M.B.B.S., in Madurai Medical College. Later did my Diploma and Masters Degree in the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Egmore, Madras Medical College, Chennai.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Power makes some men...

Some people behave strangely when they get some power.

The following incident happened in my life.
When I was working in Leprosy Control Unit, Kanchipuram, we [a batch of doctors from different Units] were posted in a Leprosy hospital in Thirukoilur for 2 weeks training.

There were many doctors working there all with the basic MBBS qualification and I was surprised to see a doctor ‘N’ with P.G. Qualification-Diploma in Paediatrics. Such graduation is much sought after field and the doctors invariably have a huge practice. I asked  Dr.’N’ why he is working in Leprosy hospital when  he can get a good posting in a general hospital in a town.
He was very friendly and said that it is because his wife is working as a teacher in a Govt. school in that town. I assumed he must be having good private practice also. But when I saw the clinic [converted front room in his house] I was baffled as there was hardly any patient. I chatted with him and told him that in Kancheepuram all the Child Specialists are having a very good practice and advised him to get into another posting soon.

After a year  I got a letter from him that he was posted in Saidapet, Chennai [he didn’t tell me what posting] and asked me whether I could help his wife to get a posting in Kancheepuram taluk near Saidapet. I went to the Education office and met the Officer there. I was told that the transfers will be made only during summer vacation and asked me to come then. I wrote this immediately to Dr.N.
About a month later I came to know that he had joined as District Leprosy Officer, a grade immediately above me. Frankly speaking the post was offered to me earlier and I denied it as I knew that if I joined I will never get out of Leprosy service and doing a post graduation was out of question [Dr.N never got out of it ].

One day when we have traveled to a sub-center nearby to attend to the village patients a jeep came and stopped near ours and I was happy to see Dr.N stepping out of it. I chatted with him for a few minutes and then started my work. He saw what we were doing and did not pass any comment and left after signing some registers.

After two weeks I was shocked when I got an official memo from him saying that during his visit he found me just sitting without attending to the waiting patients.. I was very angry as he could have stopped me from talking if he had thought so. Full of anger I went to the Disrict Medical Officer’s room, which was in the same compound.
The DMO knew me well and when I showed him the letter [it was forwarded by his office], he read it and before I started talking rang up for the concerned clerk. As soon as I finished talking he turned to his clerk and asked him to close the file as soon as possible without any detriment to me.

When I started to draft the reply I found that the date was wrongly mentioned. So I just made a short reply that on the day mentioned we were not in that place at all and were attending to the patients in another sub-center as per our schedule. I didn't get any reply.

My retort….

About two weeks later when we were attending to the patients in a different village the jeep came and out stepped Dr.N. This time I didn't even glance at him and continued my work.
He came and stood very near to me but I just ignored him. After some time he went to my subordinates- pharmacist, nursing attendants and talked to them. As soon as I finished my work I asked my team to wind up as we had to go to another village. Infuriated the he followed us in his jeep. He saw us going to the stipulated village and doing our work. He alighted from the jeep, stood for some time at a distance and  rode off..

Much later I came to know what happened. He had gone angrily to the Deputy Director of Leprosy who is superior to him and asked him to take action against me [Dr N doesn't have any power over me].
The Deputy Director who knows me, listened and replied “ On what ground can we take action? For doing his work? You have yourself stated that in your surprise check he was in the stipulated place, working. He talked to you in your previous visit and you reported him for that.”
When Dr N started to say something the DD retorted “ Leave him alone! Kancheepuram Leprosy Unit is the best working unit at present. He is a sincere worker. There are many Units where the doctors don’t even go to the villages. Why don’t you go and check them? Here after I will personally look after Kancheepuram unit and you can leave it out from your visits.”

Later when the Deputy Director came to our office on a visit I tried to bring Dr.N’s incident. But he stopped me saying that he won’t trouble me again.
I never saw Dr.N again !