Thursday, September 28, 2006

Doctors within our borders

Doctors within our borders
Advanced degrees don't guarantee equivalent jobs
Leah Caudle
Issue date: 9/28/06 Section: WKU HERALD NEWS

Media Credit: Greg Barnette
View the multimedia piece at:

At home in Andhra Pradesh, India, Syam Prasad Mallampalli sometimes worked 12-hour shifts as a doctor, suturing and treating wounds for 25 patients in the hospital he owned. At Western, the only thing Mallampalli can call his own is his computer with a picture of an Indian dancer on the desktop.

There are about 1,500 student workers on campus, said Cathy Stovall, a financial aid assistant at Western. Stovall said the office receives employment applications on a daily basis, most of which are received during early fall semester.

Working to pay for tuition is not an issue for some international students, but other students look for employment as soon as they arrive on campus, said Robin Borczon, director of international services.

These students come to the United States for international degrees, which are sometimes favorable in different countries.

"When I return home with my master's from an American school, I will be able to make more money," said graduate student Chinedu Ejike, who is a doctor from southeast Nigeria.

Borczon said she has observed international student workers take the decrease in pay with good spirits.

"Most of our students come very grounded, with a good sense of who they are," Borczon said. "If it takes working in Subway and getting an end to what they need, I haven't seen any of them get insulted."

Srinivasa Gokarakonda, who attends Western for his master's degree in public health, works as a night clerk at Bates-Runner Hall. Gokarakonda, a doctor in Hyderabad, India, came to campus on Aug. 7 and searched for jobs in the public health department.

There were none.

Gokarakonda said he knew before coming that he would not be able to practice as a doctor, but he thought there would be more opportunities, such as paid internships, for him to work somewhere in the medical field.

"I'm really frustrated. I thought of moving to some other university," Gokarakonda said. "The only reason why I stayed is because my wife is here."

First semester students typically don't get graduate assistantships because their work has not been observed yet, Borczon said.

Many students don't have a preference to where they work, just as long as they receive a constant paycheck to pay their bills.

Mallampalli, who spends his days organizing data and grading student papers, said he enjoys his job.

"It's nice to be on the other side, to be evaluating exams and not taking them," Mallampalli said while laughing.

For Ejike, the only way he's paying for his tuition and other expenses is from the two years of his savings and help from his parents.

But now that money is running low, Ejike is looking for a job that will help ease some of his financial stress, but will leave him enough time for eight to 10 hours of study every day.

"A lot of jobs they have here, they're not really field-oriented. They're usually manual labor," Ejike said. "I'm looking for a desk job, some place where I can not stand so much."

Wages at home, however, aren't much compared to Ejike's expenses in the United States. He said after spending 7 1/2 years in medical school, the going rate for a doctor is only about $550 each month in Africa.

"It's like they pay you peanuts," Ejike said. "Five hundred dollars is peanuts."

But the "peanuts" Ejike earned at home in Africa is more than Western campus workers receive. After working for minimum wage for 20 hours a week, the average salary employees received is about $400 a month before taxes.

For Gokarakonda, the wage only covers a portion of his average $600 in expenses each month in food, rent and utilities.

"It's for survival," Gokarakonda said. "But I will continue to look for jobs on campus, like in the food court."

Although "survival" keeps Mallampalli busy with PowerPoint presentations and logging files, he still has a little time to think about working in his field in the United States.

"I sometimes feel very sad that I'm not doing my work," Mallampalli said. "I feel like this is not what I'm supposed to do. I feel like I should get back to my clinical work."

Reach Leah Caudle at

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

State of the Village Report - The Miniature Earth

State of the Village Report

If the world were a village of 1000 people:

584 would be Asians

123 would be Africans

95 would be East and West Europeans

84 Latin Americans

55 Soviets (still including for the moment Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, etc.)

52 North Americans

6 Australians and New Zealanders

The people of the village would have considerable difficulty communicating:

165 people would speak Mandarin

86 would speak English

83 Hindi/Urdu

64 Spanish

58 Russian

37 Arabic

That list accounts for the mother-tongues of only half the villagers. The other half speak (in descending order of frequency) Bengali, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese, German, French, and 200 other languages.

In the village there would be:

300 Christians (183 Catholics, 84 Protestants, 33 Orthodox)

175 Moslems

128 Hindus

55 Buddhists

47 Animists

210 all other religons (including atheists)

One-third (330) of the people in the village would be children. Half the children would be immunized against the preventable infectious diseases such as measles and polio.

Sixty of the thousand villagers would be over the age of 65.

Just under half of the married women would have access to and be using modern contraceptives.

Each year 28 babies would be born.

Each year 10 people would die, three of them for lack of food, one from cancer. Two of the deaths would be to babies born within the year.

One person in the village would be infected with the HIV virus; that person would most likely not yet have developed a full-blown case of AIDS.

With the 28 births and 10 deaths, the population of the village in the next year would be 1018.

In this thousand-person community, 200 people would receive three-fourths of the income; another 200 would receive only 2% of the income.

Only 70 people would own an automobile (some of them more than one automobile).

About one-third would not have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Of the 670 adults in the village half would be illiterate.

The village would have 6 acres of land per person, 6000 acres in all of which:

700 acres is cropland

1400 acres pasture

1900 acres woodland

2000 acres desert, tundra, pavement, and other wasteland.

The woodland would be declining rapidly; the wasteland increasing; the other land categories would be roughly stable. The village would allocate 83 percent of its fertilizer to 40 percent of its cropland -- that owned by the richest and best-fed 270 people. Excess fertilizer running off this land would cause pollution in lakes and wells. The remaining 60 percent of the land, with its 17 percent of the fertilizer, would produce 28 percent of the foodgrain and feed 73 percent of the people. The average grain yield on that land would be one-third the yields gotten by the richer villagers.

If the world were a village of 1000 persons, there would be five soldiers, seven teachers, one doctor. Of the village's total annual expenditures of just over $3 million per year, $181,000 would go for weapons and warfare, $159,000 for education, $132,000 for health care.

The village would have buried beneath it enough explosive power in nuclear weapons to blow itself to smithereens many times over. These weapons would be under the control of just 100 of the people. The other 900 people would be watching them with deep anxiety, wondering whether the 100 can learn to get along together, and if they do, whether they might set off the weapons anyway through inattention or technical bungling, and if they ever decide to dismantle the weapons, where in the village they will dispose of the dangerous radioactive materials of which the weapons are made.

(Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.)

Copyright Sustainability Institute
This article from The Donella Meadows Archive is available for use in research, teaching, and private study. For other uses, please contact Diana Wright, Sustainability Institute, 3 Linden Road, Hartland, VT 05048, (802) 436-1277.

The Miniature Earth

The idea of reducing the world’s population to a community of only 100 people is very useful and important. It makes us easily understand the differences in the world.
There are many types of reports that use the Earth’s population reduced to 100 people, especially in the Internet. Ideas like this should be more often shared, especially nowadays when the world seems to be in need of dialogue and understanding among different cultures, in a way that it has never been before.

The text that originated this webmovie was published on May 29, 1990 with the title “State of the Village Report”, and it was written by Donella Meadows, who passed away in February 2000. Nowadays Sustainability Institute, through Donella’s Foundation, carries on her ideas and projects.

Donella Meadows' original "State of the Village Report" may be found at:

The text used here has been modified. The statistics have been updated based on specialized publications, and mainly reports on the World’s population provided by The UN, PRB and others.

The Miniature Earth website was first published in 2001, since than it has been seen by more than 2 million people around the globe and linked by more than 20.000 websites.

This is the third version of the project.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pledge - India ప్రతిఙ

I hope almost all Indians know this pledge, we pledged in our schools. Once I had this post on my blog, most of my friends were not pleased to see kids stuff in here. Is it only for children and is it to be forgotten after you join college? Then why would one want us to recite it when we are young? I agree with each and every line this pledge says. Especially because I feel the difference and am seeing the culture that is different from ours. Respecting elders and teachers? It is a total contrast here in the US. All the reverence we used to have for our teachers is absent here. There isn't any such concept (May be I am mistaken). I feel like I rediscovered the pledge, which is long forgotten.


భారతదేశము నా మాతృభూమి.
భారతీయులందరూ నా సహోదరులు.
నేను నా దేశమును ప్రేమించుచున్నాను.
సుసంపన్నమైన బహువిధమైన నా దేశ వారసత్వ సంపద నాకు గర్వకారణము.
దానికి అర్హుడనగుటకై కృషి చేయుదునని,
నేను నా తల్లితండ్రులనూ, ఉపాధ్యాయులనూ, పెద్దలందరినీ గౌరవింతునని,
నా దేశము పట్ల, దాని ప్రజల పట్ల భక్తి శ్రద్ధలు కలిగి ఉందునని ప్రతిఙ చేయుచున్నాను.
వారి శ్రేయోభివృద్ధులే నా ఆనందమునకు మూలము.

Pledge - India

India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.
I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall give respect to my parents, teachers and elders and treat everyone with courtesy.
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion.
In their well being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.
Jai Hind!