When Car Loans are cheaper than Education Loans….

No no, I have not gone wonky…

I am still the same, slightly silly, slightly off the track, slightly philosophical and slightly…well….may be wonky. What to do, I am what I am…

Enough about me, read on…

There is an old saying….it goes something like this…

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

Let me paraphrase it for the benefit of this article and to make my point….

Give a man some easy money and he will enjoy it till money lasts, teach a man how to make money and he will enjoy a lifetime….

I am sure, my dear readers, you will agree that the shortest, cleanest and best path to make a man self-sufficient, financially and otherwise, is to get him solid education.

Now, let’s face it, in the modern world education costs money, especially tertiary education which enables a person to develop skills and knowledge which enables him to make money and earn a decent living.

Let’s also face it that, in countries like India, there is so much poverty (still) and “good” tertiary education is so expensive that a lower middle and poor class (still the majority of India) cannot afford to send their kids for good quality Tertiary education. The uncontrolled growth of private educational institutions has made the situation worst.

So, what do you do if either your child is brilliant or you want to get them higher education so that he/she can lead the family out of the circle of poverty….

Unfortunately, there is only one major option….take a loan.

Have you ever tried doing that or have you known any person who tried doing that….

The number of criteria, the number of requirements, the number of documents, and the number of securities that one has to produce is like nobody’s business. And then on top of it, even if the bank agrees to give you a loan, the interest rates/EMI are killing.

Now, compare the education loan to getting a car loan, low-interest rate, very low or close to zero down payment, few years income tax records, an earning statement (of a much lower value) and voila….you have the loan….

Imagine, knowingly, we are feeding fish to men and not making our best efforts to teach him how to fish…

And all the above is happening in the know of the Government and RBI.

Sad isn’t it…

So, one day I decided to talk to my banker friends to understand why? I got a unanimous answer…

The default rate in Education Loans is high. Not because the student runs away but more so because many of them don’t get jobs which enable them to pay the EMI and over and above allows them to live a comfortable life.

Valid Financial Logic.

However, this, in my opinion, is not just a financial issue. This is a social and developmental issue.

Our Govt. comes up with zillions of welfare schemes, they subsidize agriculture, cooking gas, they make cheap housing (and the list goes on), they even write-off loans but all these are nothing more than giving fish to the hungry.

Education, on the other hand, teaches people how to fish but, for some reason, Govts. don’t care….

They will not make banks subsidise, give low-interest benefits, write off loans why? Because it is not a vote catcher.

The bane of democracy is that everything is about the next elections….

Also, I guess the other reason is that the fear politicians have that if most of the population gets educated they will start asking questions and demanding their rights…something no politician wants to be on the receiving end of.

In short, giving fish helps in the next elections, teaching how to catch doesn’t…

Sad……but true….

Till a time comes when the situation is reversed, we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that…

The Car Loans will be cheaper than Education Loans….

As always, please do give your thoughts and comments and if you like this article, please do like, share and subscribe to my blog…

Until next time, stay safe…

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Can’t we do just this much…

A beautiful thing happened with me a few years back. I saw something and it re-triggered my thoughts. So sharing with you.

My mother, who was very old, was having a problem for quite some days and somehow to allopathic medicine was not working. I came to know (thru a friend) that there is a homeopathic doctor who has a clinic nearby and he has some expertise in that area.

Deciding that there is no harm in trying I took my mother to the Doctor. He came down 3 stories from his clinic to see my mother in the car where she was sitting (she was not mobile), did the check up and discussion in the car and then he and I went up to his clinic where he made the medicine.

After he had given the medicine to me and given me the instructions on how to administer them, I pulled out my wallet to pay him his regular fees……

He immediately stopped me. Confused, I asked why…..he said something very nice and interesting…..

He said, I don’t take money from patients who are 80 + years and older.

I asked why…..and his logic stumped me….stumped me by its simplicity, common sense and effectiveness as an approach.

He said, look like most of us I also want to do something for others but then being a fully occupied doctor I don’t get time to devote to helping others. Therefore I thought and came to this conclusion that can I bring in the element of social service in my work itself. That way, I won’t have to work extra hours, I will be able to do some real help for the old people and I will be doing in the area where I am best at…..

Now, that also triggered my thought process.

Why can’t our hospitals and doctors do something like this…..the social security net is highly inadequate and as a result our super seniors are forever struggling. It will be able great way to do CSR, help our very old people and do it in the area of their strength without putting any extra work outside their normal work hours. And yes, there will be some monetary impact but how much? After all how many people reach that age bracket?

Also, every organization spends a good chunk of money on CSR; use that for helping the old…instead of for…to be a bit blunt….doing things which in some organizations can be bit of a PRish CSR activities….

Add to the above; imagine also the good wishes, blessings and the goodwill it will generate….

This is the least we can do for our elders….at 80 + they are playing their last innings, they are weak, they have done their bit for the country, and they know that……the end is near….

Can’t we….do just this much?

Think about it?

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Metoo…..Social Media..

I normally avoid social media for social purposes (you know what I mean….) but then sometimes when one has time, a whiskey on the side table, plate of kebabs on the other side table…..one does open it to see what is going on…..

Every time I log into any social media platform, I see people posting about:

1. Where are they eating? This fancy restaurant, that fancy restaurant….

2. Where are they vacationing? The more exotic the location the better….

3. Where did they lecture?

4. Where was their photo printed?

5. What have they won?

I think you got the picture……

For some reason, my mind started wandering why do people post so much about what they are doing, their self-perceived accomplishments?

Earlier, when there was no social media, we only had “social life” wherein friends/relatives would meet, chit chat, laugh, joke even bitch around and then go home…to go back to their regular routines. It was essentially a nice laugh away your stress kind of time.

So, what happened? When did we stop enjoying the “social” bit and convert e-socializing into e-gloating (pardon my use of strong word)….and why?

Here is my analysis, please do share yours…enrich the discussion.

The factors that seem to be in play are:

1. It is very tough to show off when you are sitting with someone or some people. The average Joe himself starts feeling uncomfortable. Out of sight, it is much easier.

2. Most of us (and it is normal psychology) believe that we deserve more than what this life has given us. We try to compensate the gap by trying to push ourselves in the lime light.

3. With some people, at some level their appears to be an almost desperate attempt to say please, please, please look at me……see how awesome I am….how big a person I am….please, please please…… social media seems to be a place where you see a slew of people desperate people crying and screaming for recognition (I know I have used a bit strong words but that is only to make the point).

If you have interest in human psychology and behavior, please read Maslow’s Need Hierarchy. He had proposed and predicted this kind of behavior in 1943 but it still seems to very relevant.

And finally, since social media is unregulated, self-run & managed it has given people a free hand to do whatever they want (a unconditional unbridled freedom)….

As someone said; Never before a generation has achieved so little and talked so much about it..

And THAT is the reason why all the social media platforms (Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram etc.) have succeeded so handsomely……because ….they pander to one of the strongest desires of human beings…..which is…..

I am worth it and I am bigger, better than others…..humans will do anything to get that feeling

Think about it…., like it, share it and please do write your comments….God Bless you.

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Corona — Are we progressively barreling down towards HAD (Human Assured Destruction)

Many years ago, while doing me research on Warfare, I had read an article which was about where and when will the next plague come from.

The main theme of the article was that while we all worry about Nuclear wars etc. but, for some reason, we don’t look at the real danger to the human race which is a very potent virus. It said that this virus will be so potent that it will kill people within hours. By the time the researchers all over the world are able to find out an antidote to it, the virus would have killed half the world’s population.

It also said that this virus, most likely, will come from the Asian region because this region is the best crucible for the growth of any virus. It is hot, humid and dirty. An absolutely perfect environment for a virulent strain to develop.

At that time, it sounded like fantasy or maybe science fiction to me.

Cut to present time, in the last 2 decades we have had many viruses hitting the mankind, we have had SAARS, Dengue, Swine flu and now Corona or Covid-19.

Let’s now have a look at some patterns about some of them:

· They all started from Asia

· They have spread across the world.

· They all have been progressively more virulent etc.

Now, go back to what I mentioned about the theme of the article that I had read. A bit creepy isn’t it. Everything that the article said appears to be coming out to be true except that the virus being so virulent that it kills people in hours.

However, do you also see a pattern, the viruses are becoming increasingly more dangerous and harder to control and manage. In fact it has been 3 months but no vaccine is in sight for Covid 19.

While there have been unsubstantiated rumours that this virus is nothing but a attempted biological weapon gone rogue or somehow. There is no evidence of it. It could be just a rumour. But either way it points towards the same thing.

Think about it; do post your thoughts……specifically is there a solution, is there a way to reverse this process? I will look forward to it.

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We live in a society which keeps scores

Sad but true….but let me first explain what I mean with that….

Recall any time you were sitting with your friends, relatives, close family members….also recall what was the main conversation around…..let me help you by giving thought prompters…

Do words/sentences like these ring a bell, his son has done………, her sister is doing very well she is…….., her uncle is a …….., they have gone to ……. for vacation, even at this young age he ………,

I can possible go on and on and the list will not end….

Have we ever wondered what effect this is having on the psyche of our people, kids, young ones, other human beings……!!

And then we crib about, how competitive getting admission into nursery, primary school, professional colleges has become, life has become too stressful (leading to diseases at young ages), people cutting corners behaving in a non-ethical manner to achieve what they want to achieve, youngsters are getting hooked on to drugs, students committing suicide, people working themselves off to buy a bigger car, more houses, trying to go on bigger and more money blowing vacations…..the list goes on and on and on….!!!

Bottom line……my SCORE must become bigger than yours, my son should do MORE……than others, my SISTER should be bigger than others, my family should go on a MORE ostentatious vacation than others, my son’s marriage should be even more flashy than others,

and this one is the most ridiculous one I have ever heard,

my husband got his piles surgery done in England (I don’t trust Indian hospitals…. :-))

…..and blah blah blah….

Do we need such a society? Do we need such people, do we really think we, the great Homo Sapiens, are the most intelligent of beings!!!!

DO WE REALLY WANT TO KEEP A SCORE…!!! ALWAYS….from the time we are born to the day we die…….

And even if we have to can we please keep scores like my son is happier than…….my brother is so satisfied with life that…..my sister is such a good person that she……..

Think about it…

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