Saturday, October 9, 2010
Another Nail in The Coffin
There is something new in the air folks. Doctors wanting to come to Maldives don’t know that most of them will not get posting in Male’ and they will be sent to islands where there will not be any banks or other ways to either keep their money (which you’re going to receive in Maldivian Rufiyaa only, as your salary) or send it to their respective countries. If you keep the money with you, there is no guarantee that you will not be robbed of it. Mainly due to three reasons; 1.- Everyone over the island knows about the exact amount of your salary and when you got it, 2.- All the windows and doors at the place you live look fancy but they are of no use, 3- there is no system of policing here, so in recent times(last 1 year) quite a few mishaps of Doctors and Managers being robbed have happened.
1. The Gynecologist of our hospital(who gets a salary of almost $2500 per month) was robbed after he got his salary 3 months back. Only the next day, someone opened the house by a key as there is no sign of break in, and cut open the suite case where he has kept his money.
2. Day before yesterday one of our doctors accidentally locked his room and forgot to take keys. Locks are Chinese which can be locked without keys but have to be opened with keys only. Now that he forgot the key inside, he went to the land lords to tell that let them give him the spare duplicate key so that he could retrieve his own key back. The land lord came downstairs with a plastic scale, did something near the lock and it opened up. Only with the help of that scale. Our Mr. Doctor is so shocked by the incidence that now he carries all his valuables with himself on work and doesn’t come outside his room in the free time. He wants to get another lock mounted in that door but since that kind of lock is not available over the island and it will be found in Male’ only, we all are waiting for him to get relaxed. Imagine, everyday morning he comes to duty with a small cabin luggage kind of bag and his laptop. Keeps it in his chamber and goes back with both the things after finishing up his duty hours.
Of course there are some islands which are called Atoll capitals, where there is a hospital. If you get your posting there then there is a branch of the Bank of Maldives over there. A small branch, but it is there. Usually the case was that at least where these Bank branches were located (apart from Male’), you could open an account and take international Visa Debit Card and give this card to your kins in your own country. They could always withdraw money there and all he transaction commissions etc were deducted from your account automatically. It was not difficult or complex. Not for anyone.
Now, from this month (October’2010) onwards all the Visa Debit Cards for foreigner clients are blocked for international use. Banks (not only Maldives Bank, but HSBC or Western Union or Moneygram; whichever was sending money from Maldives to other countries earlier) have denied taking Rufiyaa for sending to other countries. They are asking to give them Dollars only if you want to send money out of Maldives. And Dollars you can’t buy because no bank is selling. They are buying Dollars and other currencies…yes… but selling….’No’.
So, now no one has any idea about how to send money to their country without visiting Male’. And what’s even more interesting, we are getting news from Male’ that even there the trouble is hanging over them. The Bank counters which used to send money to other countries (in State Bank of India, Habib Bank of Pakistan, Western Union & Moneygram) have started working slower than before, leaving a many in the end who can’t succeed in sending their money that day. This all means that some sort of trouble is ahead. Only time will tell which kind. I fortunately have an account in State Bank of India in Male’ and I am hoping that they will transact money to India at least when I will be finally leaving for India after finishing my 1 year of contract period. Reverse Counting has started. For me 267 more days to go. That’s all. After that I am a free man once again.