From ‘Batti Bandh’ to Batti Gone!!

In my second year of college, I was a part of a campaign called ‘Batti Bandh’. We put up slogans and held talks, spreading awareness on the importance of conserving electricity. And a part of this was also the event of switching off all power points for an hour on a certain day. This event slowly spread across Mumbai and the issue did get a lot of attention.

And now in the village, we have electricity supply for a maximum of eight hours everyday. And if the weather’s bad (by that I mean strong wind, excessive heat) that too is given a skip!
News of someones field getting all burnt up due to a spark leakage from a faulty wiring and acres of standing grain getting burnt to the ground is common, just as power theft and overloading is!!

It is ironic how (within the same country) I have moved from one place where people were requested to turn off power supply for an hour once every year to the place where people plead for as little as eight hours of electricity everyday!!

There is a desperate shortage of electricity here….or the power dept. is a major supporter of Batti Bandh!

*Batti- Hindi for Electricity
Bandh- to turn off.

With ‘a bank for millions’, you have to learn to be their customer.

What’s customer service, when you have to hire a security guard who stands at the gate allowing only a certain number of people into the bank? (“there’s only place for so much”)

I was at one of the branches of the State Bank of India the other day and here’s what I witnessed:

It is cramped; probably 100 or so people in space enough for just 40. I have been waiting for my turn for the past 30 minutes, just like the rest. And in comes this woman, looking all flustered and walks directly to the lady at the deposit counter- “I have to deposit this cash, I had taken my coupon, but the number has passed as I had to rush to the hospital for some urgent work.” (In a rather demanding loud voice)

“Sorry madam, you will have to take the coupon again and wait for your turn…it will be unfair to all the others”

“But I told you, it was an emergency and look, you are here to help the customers and I don’t know all this stupid bank business alright? So will you just help me out here? I have to rush back”

And it continued until one of the customers standing there stood up and said “You can have my coupon and I will go get another one.”

The lady gave a few words of advice to the bank, (you know how…) deposited the cash and left.

My turn finally arrives and as I am standing there waiting for my transaction to complete- in walks another woman and comes to the counter- “Hi, I am in an emergency, could you please deposit this cash, I have to rush to pick my kid up from his school and it’s very late, please…”(in a rather begging tone, with quit a few “please”) The woman at the counter replied, “Alright, wait for two minutes, I’ll do it.”

India’s leading national bank…you have to give some service to get their customer service!!