Hi friends!! I have been really shameless for the past three months (seriously!!!). I have no words. I don’t even want to apologise because I know how it is going to be. It is like a chain. I apologise and promise to blog often and then do not keep up my promise and it goes on and on, without an end. So, I will just get to blogging. I have been wanting to share my experience at a Government Office. It started with the change of phase for the electric meter. On a Monday morning I confidently walked in to the Electricity Office in our area. I was pretty sure that the work will be done in one day, after all it was just a change of phase. Little did I know that there was an elaborate procedure involved.
I first went and enquired for a form for change of phase. From what I understood it was a form of authorisation from the person in whose name the electricity connection is in. The problem started, then. The connection was in my husband’s granddad’s name (he passed away long ago!). We had to first change the name and then proceed for phase conversion. I went and spoke to the help desk guy and told him that I need to change the name. He referred me to some other person and I explained everything in detail to him. I told him that I want to get the connection changed to my father in law’s name. That guy very easily told me, ‘Don’t go for name change, it will take a long time.’
I was surprised and asked him, ‘What should I do then?’.
For which he very coolly replied, ‘Give the form in your granddad’s name only and when some person comes for inspection just tell them that your granddad has gone to the market.’
I was so shocked that I cannot explain it.
I told him, ‘Listen I do not want to take the wrong route and I am not doing anything like forging or telling lies. It’s ok, if it takes a longer time for conversion, but I will go through the proper route only.’
He was taken aback. He said, ‘I will let you know how much it will cost for a change of name’, and went to some counter and spoke to that guy for a long time.
He came back and said that The Change of Name would cost me Seventeen Thousand Rupees.
I was like, ‘WHAT THE HELL?’
I told him, ‘I will check online and get back to you.’
He was again shocked. He was like you have to pay me two to three thousand rupees extra since I have to go to the Head Office and submit the form.
This is when I got really angry. I asked him straight, ‘Doesn’t the Government pay you salary? It is for your work that you are paid and this is your work. I will not pay you anything more than the legal fee.’
He quickly asked me, ‘When will you give me the cheque? I will come over to your place and collect it. Why should you come all the way in this heat?’
I was laughing from inside. I replied, ‘You don’t have to worry about me. I will manage. We will somehow come back here and finish it.’
I just left from there the next second and spoke to my husband about it. He was also shell shocked. On the way back home, I checked online for the actual procedure for change of name. Believe me, the Government website is so good that I actually did not expect it. The total fee was about 7,000 rupees as against the 17,000 he demanded. Above all, you are allowed to set off your security deposit sitting in your credit against the total fee payable. So, I had to pay about 4,000 rupees to get the name changed. The procedure was simple, self – explanatory and convenient. You can do it from your own home. In about fifteen days, the name was changed as well.
What I wish to tell from this post is, corruption is still prevalent. Why is it so? It is because we are encouraging it. We should put our foot down. When we do it a couple of times, then such people will get scared to ask for money the next time. They may not stop, but at least they will think twice before asking.
When I shared my experience with a few people, they point blank told me not to do that. They also told me that I will never be able to get the change done if I go against someone from within the department, but I am proud of my family. All of them supported me and told me to go the right way and not fall prey to such people. I successfully completed the first leg of my work. Now when I go for my next step I am sure that I will come across the same guy at the Department. Come, what may, I will not encourage him, but at the same time I will get my work done without bribing anyone.
I request all of you to say no to Bribing. If you want to have an India of your dream and bring the change, then you need to be the driving force for the change. Only then, you will have all the right to crib about what is not right in your beloved country.
I hope I did not bore you guys to death with this long and serious post.
See you soon.
Till then, cheers!!!