Wednesday, September 12

Government Encounter - Day 1

~ Raina

Not sure if I can ramble enough about the government here. I just don't get them. So here's my latest encounter with them over 2 days... Here's Day 1...

Abhishek and I went to meet to some person in the government to get a proposal signed so we could put our wonderful 'Hole-In-The-Walls' in more schools. The guy, let's call him Mr. R, told us that he had a meeting all morning but he said that we should come by 11 and he'll call us in the meeting and get the paper signed. So we showed up promptly at 11. The meeting was in session so we sat outside in the waiting area. We waited and waited and waited. The clock ticked to 11:30 then 12:00 then 12:30 then 1:00. No one could tell us when the meeting
would end and we weren't allowed to go in. Abhishek and I were getting quite hungry by then. Then FINALLY at 2:00 the meeting doors opened and Mr. R stepped out. We walked out with him and he called his driver. He turned to us and told us to go with the driver. The driver would take us to his office and he would come in another car. So we went with the driver.

We reached Mr. R's office in 15 minutes. Mr. R didn't get there yet so again we were seated in his office and asked to wait. So this was around 2:20. Soon enough it became 3:00, then 3:30 and we were still waiting. Where was he? So finally I called Mr. R. He didn't pick up. 5 minutes later, I got a message from him saying that he's in some meeting. I messaged back asking when he'd be done and what we should do. No reply. It became 4:00... 4:30. By this time, Abhishek and I were STARVING. The office was in a residential area so there were no restaurants and we didn't want to go too far because we didnt' want to miss the guy. So at 4:30 I lost patience and called Mr. R again. He picked up (thankfully). So I asked him where he was and he said that the meeting just got over and that he is leaving right now. I couldn't hold back my tounge and told him very firmly that we had been waiting for him since 11. And why did he send us to his office if he had another meeting? He could have told us. I made it quite clear that I was very unhappy. I was getting quite heated. All of a sudeen Abhishek runs to me and tells me to quite down. :) So I quite down and hang up.

FINALLY at 5 Mr. R shows up. 6... SIX hours later! Then Mr. R takes us to his boss who needs to sign the paper and his boss goes 'Tell me about Hole-In-The-Wall'!!! Why wasn't he briefed?! They had asked us to come and the boss doesn't even know for what!!! I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say. I didn't even want to be there. Somehow the conversation veered towards private schools versus government school. Listening to this guy (Mr. R's boss) I became even more dumbfounded. This guy didn't know some of the basic realities about the
educational arena in India. He made claims that most people in this area SHOULD know are not true. But no - he didnt' know. I guess why should he? He ONLY allocates money to improve government schools... he doesn't need to know the realities!!! And we wonder why the government schools in our country are in such poor state.

Finally our meeting ended. After getting back to my room, I was very disappointed. Can a government really function like this? It has no respect for an individuals time. They run on their own time. They don't even bother to do the needful before meeting someone. It didn't matter that we were sitting there for 6 hours, hungry, to get one stupid signature.

I really wondered how change can be brought around with so much inefficiency in the system? Even if someone wants to change something, can they? It would take him a lifetime to get anything done in this system.

Sadly, this was just Day 1. Day 2 encounter coming right up...


PrajK said...

sorry to hear about your frustrations.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that all Barclays' ATM's in UK have the sign "Hole in the Wall" on them?

Interesting coincidence!

HiWEL-ISB Team said...

Oh, that's a nice piece of information! Need to keep a watch!