Companies & Sectors
Reliance Life to hire 50,000 advisors this fiscal while the sector faces growth challenges

While the insurance sector is seeing subdued employment potential, Reliance Life has already hired around 7,000 advisors in April and May and expects the number to cross 50,000 persons in fiscal ending 31 March 2012

Leading private sector insurer Reliance Life will hire nearly 50,000 advisors and 5,500 full-time insurance consultants this fiscal to negate any impact of high attrition and to sustain growth.

The company—part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group’s financial services arm Reliance Capital—plans to hire 5,500 full-time advisors by September 2012 itself, as part of its efforts to improve customer services.

Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC) is planning to hire over 50,000 advisors this fiscal so that net employee addition remains positive, the company’s president and executive director Malay Ghosh told reporters.

The company is also focusing on hiring employees on fixed salary basis to lower the attrition rate.

“We are thinking to provide a minimum fixed salary to advisors, especially in semi-urban and rural areas, to retain the talent and provide better services,” he said, after launching a post-sales customer support initiative by the company, which would be first for any Indian insurer.

Mr Ghosh said that Reliance Life has already hired around 7,000 advisors in April and May and the company expects the number to cross 50,000 persons in the entire fiscal, ending 31 March 2012.

A recent study by Team Lease Services, a composite staffing company, revealed that the uncertain economic and financial situation and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe have raised concerns in the Indian BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) sector. The sentiments were also echoed by Mr Ghosh who stated that the industry is facing high attrition rate due to a host of reasons such as slow growth and increased regulation.

More people left the organisation due to the challenging environment and changes in regulations, Mr Ghosh said, while adding that the environment would continue to be challenging this fiscal.

“The life insurance industry is expected to have a moderate growth of 10% in new business premium this fiscal. Growth and profitability would be driven by renewal premium from existing customers,” Mr Ghosh said.

Reliance Life’s total premium (net of reinsurance) in the last quarter ended 30 June 2012 was Rs810 crore, while total funds under management stood at Rs18,586 crore.

It recorded its first full-year net profit at Rs373 crore for the fiscal ended 31 March 2012. It had sold over one million policies in 2011-12 and garnered a total premium of Rs5,498 crore during the year.


Is ethical business possible in this corrupt world?

The lasting solution to the problems of corruption is to raise the next generation in the time tested Indian methods of value based education. Education is the taming of the animal instincts in man and transforming him/her into a social being with societal obligations

“I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it is hell.”—Harry S Truman
Corruption, evil, deceit, trickery and dishonesty have been prevalent in this world at all times. In Plato's “The Republic”, Thrasymachus argues with Socrates to prove his point that injustice is as good as justice and the unjust are better off than the just in society.  Although Socrates wins the argument, refuting this line of thinking, the fact still remains that in the conventional monetary economy, it is the unjust that apparently stand to gain. How I wish, the younger generation reads this message—future leaders—who probably need this message most of all. While corruption is ubiquitous, one must be able to live like the lotus in the sea of corruption without getting wet. I am going to prove that it is not only possible but also profitable in the long run to be just.
Corruption has been there with mankind ever since the dawn of the monetary economy. In the sustenance economy that most of us had before the dawn of the present monetary economy, people lived and died happily, sharing and caring as they went along. Many scientific studies have shown this to be so. One of the most elaborate studies has been the study of the Innus—an aboriginal race off the coast of Saskatchewan in Canada. Their recorded documents showed the Innus to be a tranquil race, living as hunter-gatherers without any significant disease burden at all. Their society changed dramatically but slowly after 1732 AD when, for the first time, The William’s Company came to Innu land to open an outlet for barter trade with the Innus. While the company gave away soaps, biscuits, and other toiletries, they in return took the hide, etc that the Innus had. Then came the Church and, consequent God-dependence. 
Today every Innu is a Canadian citizen and has all the facilities that the native mainland Canadian has, including all the diseases ranging from common cold to cancer, about a decade earlier than the mainland Canadian! This goes to show that it is the introduction of monetary economy that changed the Innus’ life for ever. Interestingly, many of the present day scientific studies have shown that the leading risk factors for most of the killer diseases like heart attacks, cancer and stroke, are the negative feelings of greed, jealousy, hatred and anger in addition to frustration resulting in depression. All the above negative thoughts are money related! In fact, it is not what one eats that kills, but what eats one that kills. Eric Blaire, better known as George Orwell, traces how man or animal, sooner than later, acquires greed as the dominant instinct, leading to corruption as the be all and end all of life, in his celebrated book The Animal Farm.  
“Man”, said Shakespeare, “whether in the castle or in the cottage; palace or pad, is governed by the same emotions and passions”.  Man is not born with these instincts at all.  The negative thoughts like anger, jealousy, pride, hatred, greed are all inculcated into the human mind during the school and college years, what with all the competition and ranking, making them inhuman at the end rather than feeding them with altruism and universal compassion.
Unfortunately, our westernized educational system does not really deliver the goods to transform man and tame his animal instincts to give the student the true liberal education. On the contrary, the present system makes students more self-centred and egoistic to be ‘successful’ in the western concept. Naturally concern for others and the need to uphold moral values take a back seat. With that background we have been brought up to succeed, come what may, resulting in cutthroat competition. Living and letting others live with the basic idea of sharing and caring is forgotten in this business of trying to be one-up on others. 
Monetary and material corruption starts right there, to which moral corruption gets tagged on as they go along the golden path of success and wealth. It is worth quoting here the words of a great teacher, Allan Bloom, who wrote in his excellent book “The Closing of the American Mind”, about the sorry state of American higher education today. “There is no need to prove the importance of education; but it should be remarked that for modern nations, which have founded themselves on reason in its various uses… a crisis in the University, the home of reason, is perhaps the profoundest crisis they face.” I could not agree more!
                        “Satyam, ….brihad ritam ugram…
                        Vishwam Dharayanthi”— Rg Veda
This world can go on smoothly only if all of us were to follow those two basic rules of existence. Truth and ethics of the highest order applied strictly in all our dealings.  Unfortunately, when we look at today's world, untruth and corruption are palpably felt, while truth and ethics, practiced by the silent majority, are non-palpable. Be that as it may, it is only the goodness of the just people that keeps this world going. Despite the vocal and palpable minority of corrupt people seem to think that they run the world, in every field of human activity, the outwardly show does not represent the hidden agenda. Most of what we see and hear is only empty claptrap. 
As an example take the medical world. In the year 2000 doctors went on strike in Israel for three months. Many years ago a similar strike had paralyzed the medical system in the state of Saskatchewan, where doctors had gone on strike for more than three months.  More recently, doctors had gone on strike in Los Angeles County for a short while. You would be surprised to know that on all those occasions when doctors struck work, death rate and disability indices in society seemed to have gone down significantly. The common man’s perception is that the medical world is there to do good for him and save him even from the jaws of death. The reality, though, is otherwise.  
Further studies have shown that most of the modern drugs and innovative medical technology help the manufacturers more than society. To cite one small example of a very modern technologic interventions—the bypass surgery—researchers looked at the audit of two identical populations in Philadelphia and Ontario, having identical populations and facilities. Where as the rate of bypass operations was 10:1 in favour of Philadelphia, at the end of a year, almost equal number of people in the above cohorts were still alive in both the places! Ten times more intervention must have led to ten times more deaths! The accompanying editorial by a leading cardiologist at the Yale University, Prof. Krumholz, bares the secret. If one were to look the gift horse in the mouth closely, one quickly realizes the unholy nexus between drug and technology lords and the star performers in the medical field. 
Before we look into other specific areas, let us look at ethics in a simple way. Business ethics should not be divorced from human ethics—do unto others, as you would be done unto you. Ethics and morals cannot be separated easily. However, morals are not for all times. While morals keep changing, ethics do not. This is a subtle difference between the two. To quote an example from the Mahabharata, let us take Abhimanyu telling Duryodhana that, it is unethical for a king to play the game of dice to acquire kingdom or property, but it is quite ethical for businessmen to do so! What is ethical is always legal, but what is legal may not be ethical at all times. That may be the reason why King Ferdinand of France, when he was preparing to send his people to the Indies after the discovery of the New World, made an important rule that any one who has studied jurisprudence shall not be included in the group. He felt that when there are fewer laws justice prevails. Where there are surfeit of lawyers, people would become miserable. More lawyers would lead to less justice! That was his idea in formulating those laws. 
If my memory does not fail me, I do not recollect any Indian politician having ever been punished for corruption, but everyone knows that most of them, if not all of them, have been corrupt. In the adversarial system of justice, the judge could, at best, be an umpire. The final judgement depends on the evidence. A powerful politician, who is corrupt, knows all about how to falsify evidence. Poor judges are left high and dry. Only a handful of really pro-active judges have tried to do something but without much success. Even if the judge succeeds, the politician wins in the people’s court, a concept that is nauseating, to say the least, as all of us know how elections are fought and won! One has only to read George Orwell’s celebrated book The Animal Farm to remind oneself of the politician’s wily ways. Many politicians in India come from economically lower strata, but all of them become very affluent at the end. They amass as much wealth as is sufficient for many generations to come. Although they know that they cannot take the money with them when they go they still want to hoard. For a mind that has not evolved properly money seems to give a sense of security.
What is ethics in business?
Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of England, was the daughter of a grocer. When once she was asked by a reporter as to what she had learnt from her father’s business, she is supposed to have said: “When I was a little kid, I used to sit in my father’s shop.  I learnt one important thing there, which I have been practising for all my life. When my father sold good vegetables customers used to come back. When the vegetables were bad, vegetables came back and the customers went to the next shop”.  The movie Iron Lady won many awards for the leading lady! This is simply business ethics. That is exactly what ethics is all about. Do unto others as you would be done by. In any situation, where another human being’s interest is involved, one should put oneself in the position of the other man and think before taking a decision. This shall be the best ethical policy in business.
What is Corruption?
Nobody needs to define corruption in India. We are all experts in the field. To turn from the sound to unsound, anything to make the pure to impure and to seduce, are all signs of corruption. Interestingly, many of us indulge in it by giving a bribe thinking that it would make our life easier. This perpetuates the system. The giver is as guilty as the taker of the bribe. When one knows that it is immoral to get involved in any form of corruption, giving money to get things done is as unethical as it is to accept the same for illegal gratification. Corruption can never be eradicated by enacting more stringent laws.  As pointed out by the great French philosopher, Michael Montainge, when there are more laws in any society, there will be less justice. In the adversarial system of justice that we have inherited from the British, truth usually is the casualty.
I am told that ethical business takes a long time for people to really prosper. It might be one of the reasons why more and more people want to be corrupt to quicken their pace of hoarding money and wealth. This seems to be a rule rather than exception. That said, I must hasten to add that there are honest ethical businessmen in every society, who probably give respectability to business. No country seems to be an exception to this rule. Man has an important obligation to the society. It is society that gives one an opportunity to come up and be recognized. In return we have to remain grateful to society. This gratitude is better shown as our obligation to do most good to most people most of the time.
Can ethical practices and corruption co-exist?  
Certainly not! They are mutually exclusive.  If one is ethical, one cannot be corrupt.  But if one is corrupt he can’t be ethical also. Unfortunately, people use a different yardstick. Whenever they are caught, they try to extricate themselves of the blame using the benefit of doubt theory in the adversarial system of justice. One could be corrupt and still appear to be within legal boundaries. To be ethical is always legal. But to be legally correct need not always be ethical.
Profit making
It is right that business must make profit, otherwise it has no meaning. How to profit?  A reasonable percentage of profit is very ethical and should be built in to the system. We Indians are supposed to be genetically very good businessmen. If one could buy from the Jew and sell to a Scott and still make 10% profit, he/ she could only be an Indian.  It is only when you go for an unusually huge profit, business becomes unethical. I will give you an example.
The small metal stent that we use in the heart blood vessels, costs just $10 to manufacture. However, the recipient of the stent, the hapless patient, has to pay $2,000 per stent. What is the profit range here? For a stent costing $10, the profit is $1,990! This unethical profit has many beneficiaries, other than the manufacturers. Advertisers, middlemen, palm-greasing costs and more than them, all the greedy doctors get a lion’s share of the profit, nearly $500 per stent.  Many unscrupulous doctors live on the largesse provided by such benevolent drug and/or instrument manufacturers. The story goes on and on.
As a matter of fact, there is awareness all over the world of this kind of unholy nexus between the medical profession and the manufacturers. The noble profession of medicine has gone to the market place, resulting in consumerism coming into medicine in a big way. Today, patients have become buyers and the doctors sellers of drugs and technology. This is the highest point of corruption. If one is looking for ethical profit this would be in the interest of all concerned. Of course, one can always make big money by unethical means. One could employ people without letting them have any rights, without giving them any benefits and without looking after their interests. 
 Many Indian business houses have been successfully carrying on ethical business. They have stood the test of time and have withstood the market forces at the best of time and the worst of time. Many others who followed unethical means have also done well. But I am sure they will come to grief sooner than later. Newspapers keep telling us about how much money every government in the world spends to look after cigarette smokers’ health. Recent reports showed that the Government of India spends nearly Rs13.2 crore.  However, it is the tobacco barons that make money by fair means or foul.
Society Respects Money
Unfortunately, today society respects money and never bothers to find out how one acquires money. Many of our boot-leggers get honoured in our country. Corrupt politicians with tons of money could easily buy their votes. This happens even in the advanced West. One could buy most positions or awards with money. Most awards, if not all, could be bought these days. While Yasser Arafat and Kofi Annan get Nobel Peace Prize, Mahatma Gandhi doesn’t get even nominated! Is this the ethical world we live in?  In 1927 AD, the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine went to Wagner Juregg, who was known to have faked his research findings. Paul Brunton, the former chief of British American Tobacco Company, got the Pulitzer Award for the best manager. His citation read: “Despite hefty fine of $369 billion as compensation for cancer victims, British American Tobacco Company, under the able stewardship of Paul Brunton, bought over CAM in South America for $120 billion. This is why he gets the Pulitzier. The tobacco grown there with genetic modification would eventually kill millions of young men and women in the third world countries.
Corruption, which seems to be engulfing the whole of the world, could only be contained in the long run by changing man’s mind. The only one right that man has got in this world is his right to do his duty. Each one of us has the right to help our fellowmen and not harm them. This philosophy could be understood and passed on to others by changing the mindset of the future generation of mankind.
What is the remedy for this?
No amount of stringent laws and policing will make people follow ethics and avoid corruption. All the vigilance officers put together will have no effect. The present atmosphere encourages corruption in a big way. Our whole lifestyle has been corrupted. The only remedy seems to be to train a whole new generation of our children in the age-old Indian system of education. Even in the west, in the hoary past, people had better quality of education. In the west a well-educated man/woman would have read Plato’s The Republic and the other classics both in philosophy and literature in the past. How well does Socrates convince his friend Thrasymachus that “injustice can never be more profitable than justice.” Today, even in the west, it is just information-loaded knowledge building exercise that is called education. The present education, both in the west and east, is bereft of any value addition and is badly corrupted. Even the seats of great learning like the universities view education as a moneymaking business. Wholesale extrapolating western models to India has done the greatest damage. There is a gulf of difference between the east and the west. 
Take for example our epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and compare them with the Greek epic, Homer’s Iliad. All the three great battles in the three epics—War in Lanka, the Kurukshetra War and the Trojan War were fought for the sake of women. Whereas at the end of the war, their husbands enjoin the two women in our epics, Helen runs away with the enemy. This is the subtle ethical difference between them and us. Similarly, the contrast in ethics of the heroes is no less glaring. While Karna, the great hero of the Mahabharata War, fights till death for his friend, as he had promised to do so because of his sense of gratitude to his mentor and his moral obligation to do so, Agamemnon, the commander-in-chief of the legendary Greek warrior Achilles, quarrels with Achilles over the possession of the lovely maid Briseis; the glorious reminder of the Mycenaean age. We have never made the younger generation realize the greatness of our scriptures while every one in the west swears by the Iliad.
The lasting solution to the problems of corruption is to raise the next generation in the time tested Indian methods of value based education. Education in the true sense is just that. It is the taming of the animal instincts in man and transforming him/her into a social being with societal obligations. Indian education aims at making man humble, the sublime goal of education-to make one act “justly, skillfully, and magnanimously at all times of peace and war”. This effort would bring forth a generation with their minds evolved to a higher level of consciousness where unethical thoughts get filtered out in preference to the ethical and moral ones. How does one go about it? Where, in fact, is the mind? Science has been swimming in this uncharted sea recently and has come up with newer facts that tally with the ancient wisdom of the all-pervading human consciousness, which is a part of the universal consciousness.
Mind, unlike other parts of the human body, could not conceivably be an organ-based structure. This settles the debate if mind is in the heart or the brain. It is everywhere in every single human body cell, of which there are one hundred thousand billion in all. Mind is at the quantum level-the subatomic world of quarks and superstrings. Conceptually it could have four levels of evolution. The latter is assisted by right type of education during the formative years of one’s life. 
The crude mind is the manas. It could be compared to a dark room with a small window. The manas could, at best, recognize anything that the window shows as such. Let us take the example of a man passing by the window. The manas would just be able to recognize him as a man. Higher than the manas is the buddhi. The latter has a watchman guarding the inlet—the intelligence-based on empirical experience. Budhi would be able to say who that man is. Still higher is the Chitta with the watchman ego. All problems for mankind, including corruption, emanate at this level of mental evolution. When the ego, ahamkaara, comes in, the mind starts either hating or liking the man passing by. Both could lead to sorrow! Proper education could raise the mind to a still higher level—the purusha, where the watchman—viveka—tells the mind that one need not worry about others unnecessarily. The man passing by could be anybody and it should not bother the observer at all. Eliminating the ‘I’ concept at this stage could ease the difficulty a bit.
 Real happiness and bliss, however, come when one could elevate one’s mind to the highest level of Ishihara (one who is one with the surrounding) unperturbed at all times. In that state of the mind one is goaded to go out of the line of one’s duty to see that the man passing by the window is being cared for and made to feel at home under all circumstances. If our education could take us to that height where “the mind is free" as Guru had said, all negative thoughts get replaced by positive ones, making one truly altruistic. Corruption gets eradicated permanently. 
Education, of the true variety, should aim at this goal. We should teach our children the most important aspect of spirituality. The latter has very little to do with religion. The theology of all religions preaches the same spirituality of universal compassion. Spirituality is simply sharing and caring-living and letting others live.
          “Our ingress into this world was naked and bare,
            Our progress in this world is trouble and care,
           Our egress from this world would be nobody knows where,
           If we do well here, we will do well there”—DH Lawrence
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected].)



Neela Govindaraj

4 years ago

Another Great article from Dr. Hegde. Unfortunately, school education in India is nothing to write home about. It is just a place where children are looked after till they go for tuition class in the evening. Schools are mere skill training centers - there is no component of ethics or real education.

Hitesh Shah

4 years ago

Amazing article . Really nice , real and relevant depiction of society as a whole with relevant surveys and case studies from various fields.

While the diagnosis of the problem is perfectly , the remedy of education is also super perfect remedy . Well thought and conveyed doc .

While the overall picture of the society may look gloomy , there is tremendous positivity in Indian society happening which current corrupt media has utterly failed to give importance to due to their vested interests.

While the doc's remedy of education may appear to be childhood school education, but it really means continuous ongoing education at all levels of life in all strata of society . This is happening in India and quite a many NGOs are at work on this and doing amazing work without a penny of help from govt.

Once again thank you doctor for sharing such an amazing article for all of us .


4 years ago

Just two comments on such a great piece of article! Well that shows how the world is busy interested in money-making and neglecting important issues like morality and ethics.

Proper grooming in childhood and adolescence decides whether we would be terrorists (destructive) or activists (constructive). The problem with people today is that no one is thinking about the kind of society we are building for the next generation.

Excellent piece of article Doctor. We truly need someone like you to take the initiative and bring the country back on track and make it a place worth living!

nagesh kini

4 years ago

Great piece Doc!
This should be on the curricula of all management studies across the country and UPSC, Mussorie, Hyderabad and Maharashtra's YASHADA and above all the PMO Dept. of Personnel and HRD too.
What the Whites did to the original natives of US, Canada and Australia, we in India do unto our Adivasis and it goes unnoticed!
Bribery is a two way traffic - the giver parts with money in direct proportion to his perceived gains - he is as in fault as the taker.
In India, the penalty is far too lenient - we require summary instant fast track trials a la US' Enron, Rajaratnam, Rajat Gupta of not less 15 years and millions of $ in punitive fines.
Here most of our CWG and 2G accused are out on bail instead of being in jail. Jessica Lal murders and drunken driving Alistar are more out than in jail. Harayana ex.Min. Kanda is absconding even before arrest.
Corruption is rampant in every profession you name it - none, absolutely no one is above board. The higher one goes up whether in Accounts/audit, law and judiciary, medicine or engineering the higher ones are the biggest takers. Most get away.
Ask our mantris-shantris-babus how they manage to get away, they won't tell you.
George Orwell's pig rightly puts it "Some are more equal than other." It explains all!

sivaraman anant narayan

4 years ago

Excellent article and I fully agree that value education will be the true harbinger of better evolution of the human species.While you talk of elevating the mind to higher planes of consciousness, the yogis and enlightened gurus talk of the sublimation of the human mind for the true self to shine through and guide all our thoughts, words and deeds!.

Large number of people from North East flee Bangalore

Stabbing of a Tibetan student in Mysore on 14th August added to the fears of the north eastern people whom the Karnataka government and police are trying to convince that they are safe in the state

Bangalore/New Delhi: As a large number panic-stricken people from the north east fled Bangalore after reports of attacks on some of them, the Centre on Thursday said there was no threat to anyone from the region living anywhere in the country and warned of strict action against rumour mongers, reports PTI.
"If rumours are spread, strict action will be taken against those who indulge in such activities," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters outside Parliament House.
He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he had spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, requesting him to ask the people to share information on rumour mongers.
Extra trains have been pressed into service for Assam to help people who wanted to leave Karnataka, Shinde said, asserting that the situation in the state was peaceful.
Reacting to reports that people from the north east were attacked in other parts of the country, Home Secretary RK Singh said in Delhi, "There is no threat to the people of the north east in any part of the country." 
On reports of mass exodus of people from the north east living in Bangalore, Singh said he had spoken to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Karnataka Police and they had informed him that there was no incident of attack on anyone from the region anywhere in the state.
In Bangalore, the Chief Minister held a high-level meeting today to review steps to tackle the situation.
Two Assam-bound special trains were operated late last night in addition to the regular service to clear the sudden rush of passengers triggered by the rumours in the wake of one incident of attack on people from the north east in Pune in the wake violence in Assam.
Railway officials had said in Bangalore yesterday that they had sold over 5,000 tickets for north eastern destinations. 
Shinde said 300 people left last night and two extra trains have been pressed into service today for Assam.
The stabbing of a Tibetan student by two motorcycle-borne men in Mysore on 14th August added to the fears of the north eastern people whom the government and police are trying to convince that they are safe in the state.
State DGP Lalrokhuma Pachuau, who himself is from the north eastern state of Manipur, told PTI that the exact number of people who fled the city was not known as many bound for Guwahati were regular passengers, and not those leaving following the rumours.
Concerned over the development, the Prime Minister spoke last night to Shettar who assured him that steps were being taken to give protection to the people from the north east.
Besides the Prime Minister, Shinde and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also spoke to Shettar on the issue.
The Union Home Secretary said, "Last night when I got an information that some people from Assam were under threat in Karnataka, I rang up the DGP and checked up with him... There is nothing.
"When people thronged the (Bangalore) railway station to go to the north east, the Home Minister of Karnataka himself went there and told them that there is nothing. So the rumour mongering has to be stopped. Some people are spreading rumours," he said.
A small group of people at the Bangalore railway station said, "We are expecting the railway authorities to make an announcement of arranging special trains to Guwahati. We want to be with our families in Assam. We have been informed that some people are planning to attack us....
"We do not want to take any risk as nobody comes to our rescue when we are attacked," Monica and others from the north eastern region said as they waited at the railway station this morning.


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