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Jul 4, 2016

Free thoughts - the question of capability and diversity Part 7/24

I have not been able to write well. Now - it has been almost 3 months I failed to post blog write ups as planned on monthly basis. Because of this - it seems i am in alcoholic withdrawal that is painful knowing the prevailing circumstances but failing to act. This is a terrible expereince never felt before. Only remedy - i got to write and that would be the only cure. Now, I am going through job transition and hoping to secure our lives.  For me - it is alright and I was planning for a break since a long time. Truly - I want to travel to exotic places - Trans Himalyan range, Mt. K2 north of Gilgit in Pakistan, Kulu and Kangra areas (which is one in my several bucket lists!!) and of course - Peru.

Now I am a family person and I do not want to get engaged in activities that keep me away from my family. Like it or not - we need to be financially secure, so I am currently in Karachi and honored to be a part of global polio eradication initiative (GPEI). I am responsible for enhancing and strengthening Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance in Sindh Province. This has been a great experience, which will help me understand global health agenda a little better. However, there is angst and anger somewhere within me, due to transition that I had to face both emotionally and professionally, while at IVI. This is, I believe, a result of "subtle" discrimination that I felt over last few years. Now - I can openly say with confidence that there exist "subtle" distinction and discrimination in our environment such as work places. Before, I was not sure and was asking "what are these awkward experiences?"However, I also believe, that I need to take responsibility in the outcome of any activities which we are responsible. But, there are times, you are sure that there is an element of subtle distinction and alienation that result in you getting cornered and force you to get out of the environment. This is what I can tell of myself and my experience. I write about this experience for my own learning, so I can deal with the situation better in the future.

Sometime - I believe that it is alright to be angry. Somewhere there remains"latent" anger and needs safe landing, other wise it would be counterproductive. This is what wise one says and common wisdom.  So, where does this emotion (of anger) come from? For me, I may be wrong but one of the reasons would be the "subtle" distinction and discrimination that we may have felt or experienced in the workplace. The key question that is rooted with "capability" and "diversity" issues is one of my recent reason for anger, which can be personal, emotional or cultural or structural in origin. As one of the consequences, we like it or not, we get alienated or cornered despite our known "organizational" or humane values, which always tell us to respect "individuality", "differently capable" and "diverse" background, from where we come together in one common space. All these values though written in golden letters, I have started to doubt honestly, "Do we really uphold these values in our everyday practices?" This is another subject that we need to fathom in order to understand and get educated However, one thing I can say that we are getting too selfish and sometime lacking compassion and being less mindful and unaware, what goes "now" in present that will have bitter consequence in the future. Yes, some of us would say that we got to live with what we come across like it or not  Well, for me I want to self introspect and rationalize that it is only through struggle and hard work that we prevail and excel at what we do the best. Most of the time - our positive outlook heals our mental stresses that we have to encounter in our surrounding. For that we are engrained with various coping mechanism and as I said - it works fine for all of us most of the time. However, there are rare instances all these coping and adjustment how hard you try sometime fails. I know - this blog post likes to discuss the theme that relates to distinction and discrimination or simply, unfair treatment in workplace. Well - for me - I need to bring this out for open discussion because many of us (or to be specific - some of us) aspiring public health professionals (from low income countries) find ourselves "limited" in capability  and pushed to the corner due to both "intentional" or "unintentional" prejudices and biases.

For now, I would stop here and leave with a picture, which is very meaningful to understand any system of governance or health delivery system - its structure and function, when we try to understand the global health system as an analogy to the organized versus unorganized agricultural fields. In the picture below looking closely  - one or two fields look very organized and well planned for farming and obviously modern and productive, while rest of the farms look very disorganized and in disarray. These aerial pictures of  agricultural farms can help us to understand in simplicity the current global health challenges. However, if we want to understand the global health agenda then we got to go deeper.

Anuj B / 04 July 2016

Anuj in Himalayas

Hi i am connecting disqus with my blog for healthy interaction and open dialogue