Tuesday, June 26

Government is so different !!!

So it was me among four of us who traveled first. It was kind of quaint coz all along I was hoping to stay put in Delhi initially while others traveled. It just so happened that N asked specifically me to accompany him to Jaipur for the JMC project. And i guess the dual purpose was to introduce me to JMC- CEO for the Jaipur project. Jaipur project is going to be the most critical project if we want to survive this year without further losses. I got my visiting card an evening before. It was happening too fast for me.

After a 6 hour journey, we arrived at Bodh ( an education NGO). Shri Yogendraji who runs Bodh is an amazing personality and thorough gentleman. In last 35 years, Bodh has done a solid grassroot level work in Rajasthan under the leadership of Yogendraji. They run many Bodh schools in slums of Jaipur. I was really impressed with how they produced the numbers off the top of their heads. The discussions were good and we got some crucial discussion going about the engagement with Bodh for the Jaipur project.

The meeting with JMC CEO and before that with an RAS officer proved that this project is a high profile project for Raj government. We not only got our first payment but were assured of personal supervision by CEO which was absolutely amazing.

I attended my first meeting with government officials. Some experiences-

  • The boss says – XYZ ji, khade ho jayiye, naam bataiye aur introduction dijiye ! ( as if XYZ was a 4 year old !!!)
  • The accountant barges in and says that bank account can not be opened due to unprecedented nature of this transaction. After half an hour of heated discussion, we cannot reach any agreement and leave office not knowing when and whether we will get our account and after that our payment. Downstairs we enter the bank to ask for the bank account opening formalities. We are taken by surprise when bank manager tells us that bank account already exists and shows the signature of all the people that we were fighting with to get the bank account opened. Apparently everyone forgot after signing the papers or worse still they didn’t know what they were signing on in the first place ( I feel like talking to the accountant again about the rules etc but I guess I know better that that !!)
  • Noticed that RCEE ( apex org for elementary education in Raj) had 10 project director since 1998. 10 transfers in 7 years!!!!
  • In most of the meetings, despite having been introduced as the project lead for HiWEL, I did not get much attention. Clearly, there is an image that goes with a project lead and 30 year olds definitely don’t fit that. L What is the solution? A beard? Change of attire? J

I returned to Jaipur after 20 hours of nonstop travel and meetings.

We have loads of work to do within next 15 days. The construction of PLCs, installation, site search, MoUs with Bodh etc are some of the things that will need to happen simultaneously.

~ Abhishek Gupta

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Abhishek.. i would suggest that next time you can carry a recording device (audio or visual). The state in which government machinery works is something what makes me believe there is "GOD". Only god can make these guys work.