Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting things DONE!

HURDLES in getting Public Utilities, even at your own cost, in Bangalore?

Here is an interesting episode, worth sharing with you folks. This may be helpful, if you are trying something similar.

Here it is - I got a request from Local Area Residents of Whitefield in Bangalore, to try with the BBMP/BMTC to install TWO Bus Shelters in downtown Whitefield.

Neither of the above agencies had funds allocated for this. So a PPP model was found & work started. Soon local Corporator came calling as to how work has begun in his area without his BLESSINGS. Once he realized that I was instrumental in getting it started, he softened the tone but got the work stopped nonetheless. His men shooed away the workers & shouted at the officials. Once he realized that all the paper work is in order, he simply used strong arm tactics to stall the work.

The residents again met me and wanted a solution. In the meantime, another organization (socio-political) got involved saying that if RK is doing the GOOD WORK and all the Paper Work is in order, how can the corporator stop it. They argued that the Corporator could get it done himself, if he so wished. Logic was rational but the Corporator didn't budge.

I called all the parties to my office but to no avail. Finally this socio-political organization mobilized 10-20 of it's members & residents of the area, they stayed at the site day & night, requesting workers not to go home till the work was completed. They also organized food, water & shelter for workers who worked continuously over 2-3 days to complete the work. Corporator tried hard to stop it, rang officers but work got done.

Now, both the Bus Shelters have been operating without any trouble and 'THANK YOU' notes from residents have been pouring.

When I narrated this incident to some friends yesterday, they asked me to share this & other such incidents with larger audience to make others realize the potential of 'Collective Will & Common Good'. Hence this post.

Moral of the story -
Getting things DONE in Public Domain in this country isn't going to be easy. Our so called representatives, leaders and at times even officers won't let you do it. But if PEOPLE are with you, you will succeed.

To be in Public Life - You must win the confidence of the PEOPLE. It will take years of continuous & consistent efforts to win people's trust, but that is the most powerful weapon to win against vested interests.

I will share other similar experiences in coming days.