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Corruption all around, but, not everything is lost!

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Feb 22 � There are two ways: either rue about the growing corruption and grumble that nothing is going to change or be part of the change, like local taxi driver C Jyrwa.

It�s not every day a newspaper advertisement appears about a found wallet, stashed with money and the finder eager on returning it. But, Jyrwa did exactly that, not once but twice.

The local Taxi driver, the family bread winner with wife and four children, is trying to return a wallet for days to its rightful owner and he has taken the pains to publish advertisements in the local dailies.

Jyrwa, from Mawphlang in the city suburbs, found the dropped wallet in his taxi, some days back while plying in the State Capital. �The wallet was stashed with about Rs 6000. There were also documents. So my brother wants to return it,� Jyrwa�s sister, Susan, said.

What is ironic, and typical of the corruption around, is that �many people� called up to stake claim to the wallet. �These weren�t the owners of the wallet, but they were claiming it and so we had to put up another advertisement to find the real owner,� Susan continued. But how would she and her brother track the real owner? It is easy. In fact, together with the documents there are photographs of the person (Dako Tayum); so Jyrwa knows exactly who to hand over the wallet and the other found materials.

�My daughter once lost her wallet, without any valuables, and it was returned by the finder. We know that joy of being around with honest people, so we also want Tayum to experience that joy,� Susan said.

Like other States in India, Meghalaya has its fair share of scams and corruption and the local media is replete with such reports of nepotism and corruption having negative bearing on the masses.

However, on a brighter note, a survey by Reader�s Digest last year put Mumbai in India as the second �honest city� of the world after the magazine�s reporters dropped 192 wallets in public places of cities around the world, stashed with $50. Twelve wallets were dropped in each city.

The cities included New York, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Helsinki, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Madrid, Prague, Rio De Janeiro, Warsaw and Zurich.

The simple advertisement has a profound meaning, outweighing the content in some of the news about corruption and speaks out loud and clear � there are Samaritans around and not everything is lost.

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