Satyendra Dubey (easy version)

Satyendra Dubey was born and grew up in a village in central India. His family was poor. He was a good student, and when he finished high school, he was sent away to college. When he finished college, he went to IIT, the Indian Institute of Technology. He was the first person from his village to go to this famous school.

After he graduated from IIT, Satyendra took a job as an engineer with the Indian government. He could have made more money working for a big company, but he wanted to do something to help his country.

For a few years, Satyendra worked in Delhi, the capital of India. Then, in 2002, he was sent to a city called Koderma. In Koderma, he worked on a new road being built by the Indian government.

The work on the road was being done by small companies that were paid by the government. Satyendra’s job was to watch these companies to make sure they were building the road properly. Several times every month, he rode his bicycle under the hot sun and visited the places where the work was being done.

He looked at the new road very carefully. Sometimes he found the companies were trying to cheat the government by doing poor work. Once, when he found that this had happened, he made a company build six kilometers all over again.

In August 2003, Satyendra was sent to work in the city of Gaya which was on another part of the same road. In Gaya, he came to believe that the whole business of road building was corrupt. He had seen corruption before coming to Gaya. In Delhi, he had been offered a bribe. And in Koderma he had seen how many businessmen were cheating the government. But in Gaya, things were even worse, and Satyendra began to feel he would never be able to help his country in his work.

One problem was that although the government was giving the work only to companies that had modern machines and well-educated workers, these companies were not really doing the work. Instead, they were having it done more cheaply by other companies that didn’t have modern machines or well-educated workers. And they were putting the extra money in their own pockets.

What worried Satyendra most was that the government itself seemed to be corrupt: When the businessmen wanted to get a job from the government, they had to make a ‘bid’ saying how much the work would cost if they did it, and Satyendra found out that someone in the government was giving secret information to some of the businessmen so their bids would win.

bid:
an offer to do a job for a certain amount of money

bribe:
money offered to government worker as ‘pay’ for letting you do something against the law;

capital:
city where the government is

corrupt:
being willing to take money (bribes) to do bad things (especially at work)

engineer:
person who has graduated from university in technical subject (such as building)

graduate:
successfully finish studies at school, college or university

prime minister:
the leader of the the government

rickshaw:
small two-wheeled vehicle pulled by running man