Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smart thinking..

Yesterday, on Facebook, I found disparaging comments about India by some NRIs (Non- resident Indians) coming home for the vacations. They were blaming the country and its system for being incompetent because.. any guesses? ..all flights in and out of Northern India were grounded because of heavy fog. This just goes to show that Indians, especially the younger, working-in-IT-earning-in-thousands-spending-it-like-water-so-i-have-a-right-to-be-whiny set and the I'm-so-cool-cos-I studied/work-in-phoren (abroad) set of people have become so used to blaming the country and its system as a whole for any little thing that goes wrong that even the caprices of the weather will be blamed on the 'system.'

It is too much to expect these ungrateful wretches to do anything for their country that has done so much for them. So, I won't even broach that topic but what I would like to know is how many times they have appreciated the very same system they love to blame when the system got it right? There are so many government run services that perform well. The staff maybe unappreciated, underpaid and overworked but they still do their duty because they know how essential their services are and because it is the Indian tradition to consider one's duty sacred. The telecom service BSNL, the Indian Postal system and the Indian Railways.. every one of these systems is a vital lifeline of the country and each one has demonstrated extremely commendable innovations and re- inventions along with their characteristically smooth and efficient service in the recent years.

I noticed one of probably many examples of smart thinking by the Indian Railways, recently on a train to Chennai, the location of my visa interview. The innovation was to have the berth numbers show up on these night lights that are placed on the roof of the passage running through the train. This way, when the lights are switched off at night, the passengers boarding need not switch on the lights, disturbing their sleeping fellow passengers in order to look for their berths. All they need to do is locate their berth with the help of the numbers on these extremely dim lights that stay on all night. Kudos to the Indian Railways for coming up with this one.

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