By RK Nagar
As we all know, Operation Flood-I was funded entirely out of monetisation of Skim Milk Powder and Butter Oil gifted by the European Union,( then known as EEC) through the FAO-WFP.
As per the terms of the agreement, Indian Dairy Corporation (IDC), a fully owned company of the government of India established exclusively to receive and monetise the gifted commodities, was also vested with the responsibility to arrange quality testing of each consignment received at the Indian ports.
The first consignment was received in Bombay and IDC asked NDDB to have the consignment tested for quality. Dr Aneja was designated to personally collect the samples at Bombay port and have them analysed in Bombay itself before moving the consignment for storage.
An officer of IDC Baroda, who had worked in NDDB Anand prior to his posting in Baroda was to coordinate the operation. Dr. Aneja therefore asked him to reach Bombay a day earlier and arrange all the materials that would be needed for sampling.
Since samples of butter oil were to be drawn from many containers and the same sampler was to be used, he specifically asked for few napkins so that the sampler could be wiped clean after each use.
Next day Dr. Aneja reached the Bombay port. The IDC officer met him there. Dr Aneja asked him if, he had got everything that was in the list so that he could start sampling. He nodded his head in a yes.
The sampler, sample bottles, stickers, marker pens, and whatever was needed to seal the bottles- everything was there and so was a packet wrapped in newspaper.
“Where are the napkins?” Dr Aneja asked. “Right here sir”, he responded and picked the packet wrapped in newspaper. “Open it”, said Dr. Aneja.
He was horrified when the packet was opened. So he asked this officer, “What is this”? “A packet of napkins sir”, came the reply.
You can guess why Dr Aneja was horrified. The packet picked up from a medical store was that of Sanitary Napkins.