An Indian Expat in Germany Explains Why He Won’t Be Coming Back and It’s Quite Relatable for NRIsMay 25, 2019 06:56
You might have come across of scores of people in your daily life who have settled abroad making you wonder what’s so exceptional about living outside India.
An Indian expat residing in Germany Gautam Sawala gives you some of the reasons why scads of Indians are preferring foreign countries to settle down. The question originally appeared on Quora: Why don’t Indians in foreign countries return to India?
Gautam Sawala has been in Germany for more or less five years now and he has his own version of the answer which seems to be quite flawless.
I had a problem with my knee, I went to the doctor, and the doctor suggested to get an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), gave me a slip with the appointment time. I got the MRI and went back to the doctor. Then the doctor prescribed a custom sole be made. Went to the pharmacy that made the sole, they took the scan of my leg. Handed me a €24 (Rs1,924)service fee bill. This was the first time I had to pay (for) an entire procedure.
To give you an idea about the medical expenses, the MRI by itself would have cost me €300 out of my pocket. Not including doctors fee and service charges! Some of my friends have been in the hospital for two to three weeks, they paid nothing more than €80 for bed charges!
Meanwhile, healthcare insurance is not cheap, a person has to pay around 14.6 percent of salary towards healthcare. But knowing that you won’t go bankrupt when you get sick is calming.
The cost of medical treatment is so high in India making it so arduous for a middle class person to afford. From drugs, to surgeries, to other medical procedures, nothing costs less than a few lakhs.
The working hours are straightforward, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., that’s it. It’s pretty rare that I’m asked to work overtime. Even if asked I can refuse, without having to worry if I would lose my job. Added to that I get 20 days holiday in a year. Plus unlimited sick holidays. I don’t have to worry about losing my salary just because I ended up in the hospital for a month.
In the four years that I have been here, there have been power surge just once, for 15-30 minutes. There was a heavy thunderstorm, and the lightning caused a short circuit somewhere.
Alright, I’m writing this while waiting in a bus stuck in traffic with about 30 cars in front. Fun fact, I’m in a German town with a population of 171,000. The traffic gets pretty bad here too. But these sights are rare.
Safety and Security
Unless I am in Paris or Munich or Barcelona, I rarely have to worry about being mugged. Yes, there are several pickpocket thieves in the town I live in, but I have rarely felt that I need to be alert all the time. I forgot my phone once in the university hallway. I returned there after about 20 minutes. The phone was right where I left it. (Though this would be rare in a public place). The other time I bought a few things at a supermarket and forgot to collect all my stuff, I left behind chocolate, worth about €2.49. I walked out and went about 100 meters when a woman came running behind me. She handed me chocolate that I had forgotten.
Security, if you lose your job in Germany, the government would pay you “Arbeitslos Geld” that is, unemployment money, which includes rent of your apartment plus, certain payments for your expenses. This way you don’t end up without food on the table when you lose the job. However, it requires an individual to be employed full time for about two years before being eligible and is considered a dark spot in your resume if you opt for this.
No VIP Culture
Everyone is treated equally irrespective of their financial status or connections. (For) example, you can’t get your license without proper training. No matter who you are, if you make more than one mistake in a driving test, you fail. You can’t slip a fifty euro note and get through the exam. The end result, people on roads know how to drive.
No reservation System
Discrimination in Germany is a big no-no. Specially for government and educational institutions. Only in India, we talk about how racist Europeans and Americans are, and yet follow a reservation system that discriminates (against) people based on their caste! I would appreciate if the reservation system is based on (the) financial situation of an individual rather than his caste.
By Sowmya Sangam