Wednesday, December 31, 2014

An an year of busy life

The year 2014 has been really hectic. Moved back to Hyderabad from Gurgaon/New Delhi at the end of  2013 and though joined my current employer in 2013 December, we started working with new client actively since January.

A quick visit to US to client location and lot of work here(India) and there (US) kept me busy. We had production releases, bug fixes etc  that kept me busy with most of the time. Team size increased as per the scope of the work and additional responsibilities etc were good to me.

Personally, we came to terms that my father is no more and life is moving on (I still wonder how YS Family is visits to sympathize the families of people who died on similar timeline as YSR). It is wonderful to see kids growing. Abhi breaks most of the things very often and makes me angry, but still he is something that I like and I see great unconventional future for him. He doesn't look excited with regular life. Adith is a charm whereever he is. he settles down easily and impresses people.  Blessed to have to really different kids at home. They give me energy. I love playing with my kids.  When Adith says he is not happy after a visit to Zoo because I didnt show him a Dolphin, it surprises me with the clarity this kids have got. Abhi still asks so many questions (and irritates at times with repeat questions), I call him at times "Question Bank", he got so many questions for everything, he want to know what happens next in the movie we watch together. Many times I have no answers to his questions (and some times dominate him with no answers but with a shout).

My path to being an entrepreneur is kind of on hold, too busy with the current job, though got more ideas and doing little bit, there was nothing for exponential growth. Next one year, I need to work more aggressively and make decisive growth towards being an entrepreneur.

NGO activities, couldn't drive no major activities other than supporting few education cases, but would like to build (Key to Government) with list of roles, responsibilities, services, SLAs for each government office and employee and also with clear information on what an individual is supposed to behave (paying taxes etc).

Politically, now all parties are looking same to me, though individually CBN is my favourite leader but TDP is not.  Also didnt like KCR and CBN doing this loan waiver program in wrong way. Many people are not getting loans and people who had knowledge before got more benefit then the real needy people. It was more to do with power games during election campaign.

I have not seen any major change in Telangana, the same corruption holds good, different people might be eating public money, but otherwise status quo is maintained.

I was not happy with what my mother is made to go through at MRO office frequently. I did request CM for an apology and repaying the bribes that she paid. Also CM peshi has people who are arrogant.  This is something that looks like a long term project. I want all petty bribes in the system be abolished. Then focus will be on big bribes. All government offices should deliver on what they are supposed to do. Temples will have "HUNDI" but government offices are not temples, so we dont need to pay secret money/bribe in anyway. No offense to GOD as he is relatively cheaper and doesn't demand fixed amount to listen to your prayers :-).

This is something that I carry forward next year, I will do the follow ups with government for people friendly and hard working employees.

I was at leisure during last couple of weeks of the year, Spent time with kids, played with them watched movies with them and I think I should do that more often to make myself more productive. Kids help you realize what you are and to be successful, I think we need to pay more attention to kids.

Also personally, would like to have my mother experience "FLIGHT", she want to see how airport looks like and how the flight journey feels like. Probably a family trip or so.  Otherwise I think I do not have detailed plan for new year, though got bullet points(gkey, careerscale promotion with more tasks etc).

Many thanks to my family, friends and relatives for being with me throughout. Thanks for being what you have been to me.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

An evening at secratariat

I did visit the Secratariat this evening. I needed to rush because I came around 3.30PM to home. Needed to take print outs of the letter copy and then rush, I think I reached the secratariat gate around 4.20PM. I saw only AP Secratariat, I asked the police there where can I find Telangana Secrariat, I was told to go straight and take left. I parked my 2 wheeler there and then rushed to the direction. I needed to walk around 5 minutes or more to reach the gate and then I am asked to show gate pass. I told, I do not have one but I came to submit a letter to CM. I was asked to go back to the place I came from (first gate) and take the gate pass at reception. I said I saw lot of police but no reception, but was told that reception is there only and it is common for both the secratariats.

I went back to the place cursing myself for being greedy(in finding parking place) and parking my vehicle at the first gate (AP gate) and walked back to the gate, I know the visiting hours are only 3 to 5 and already I am late. I was almost running back to the gate and then, yes I found a small entrance and asked whether this is something called "reception", answer was affirmative (nothing is written anywhere, no identification or notice). Needed to fill a form and then they let me go to Block B 5th floor through a small door. Lucky me, I didn't have to go back to the TG gate. I asked few people for the block B. I was advised to go left, take right and so on. first building was H block. I needed to seek more help. saw other blocks but not the B. so needed to take more round about and then finally after few enquires made to block B. I am so lucky. tired running around so was looking for lift to reach 5th floor. I asked a person, he told me to go to block A, If i want to use lift. I was not so sure if that is right direction for lift, so used the stair case (actually I was told to go to 4th floor at reception but I knew I need to go to 5th floor as made few phone enquiries yesterday).

Well, finally made it to 5th floor. I see typical govt office of 1980s or so where people are carrying lot of physical files and papers and lot of red tape everywhere. Applied common sense that I need to see Asst. Secratary to CM, so found that place on the right side. so went in. told that I have a problem and need to give letter to CM, I was told to explain what is the matter. I explained that my mother faced problems at mandal office and I needed a resolution. He took the letter tried reading the letter for few seconds. Not sure if he got entire thing but he understood that I have problem and he signed and stamped on the letter. Lucky me again I didnt have to pay the Rs 10/- bribe for the stamp/seal at the CM office.

I asked where can I submit an RTI letter, and question was for what?, I said I am giving this letter so not sure if it will be addressed or not so I want to raise an RTI for the status of the same. He told me to behave to get correct information (my tone was bit high since was running around), I have told my apologies and asked for the information, he was bit sarcastic about the letter and said the letters will be addressed and I can call him for status after 10 days at 2345 4579 (Hyderabad number).

and I was told to go little further to another place where they can take RTI requests. I went in. Couple of middle aged people asked me to sit and relax and then asked me what is the problem.I explained about my mother being asked for Rs. 10/- for farm loan waiver process etc and I want to have information on what is government and how the various departments and offices work, roles responsibilities SLAs etc. I was told that I should be asking individual departments if really serious about information. They suggested me to visit Agriculture and Cooperation department with RTI and they told me that it is in Block D and 1st floor. we have exchanged pleasantries and they also agree that system is bad and we had nice chat on few things.

Now next thing is to go to Block D, I came down walking and asked for guidance again, good thing is that it is close by (few blocks away still). I was walking, I see many people ( I think they are called attenders) carrying the red tape files here and there. I thought CBN introduced E Services ,  but it looks like  not applicable for the Telangana govt.  I got serious doubts about how Mr. KCR can convert  Karimnagar or hyderabad to London when we do not have basic stuff working at his own office in proper way. Unfortunate.

Ok, then I found  block D, saw small crowd around and found one person whom I can relate through news papers etc. Mr. E. Rajender, Minister, is done for the day and leaving for home. I liked his dress, it looks so fresh as if he wore it just then. very very interesting. Mr. leaving before 5PM. Lucky govt ministers and employees. Most of the time, I work till 8 or 9PM at office and after coming back home I still attend client calls because I am responsible for the client projects.

Ok, almost close,found my way to 1st floor and agriculture department, I was suggested to go little further for tapal section, I couldn't identify the right location so asked a little old gentleman for advice. I told him what I was looking for. I changed my RTI request content a bit and now just interested with the agriculture department and how their departments, sections, offices etc work and responsibilities. He told me to visit the H.O.D whose office is near LB stadium, then I told my problem, I want to understand how government works and how a common man get understand it.

My pain point is simple, I live here right in hyderabad and I face so many types of issues, I may not get water on particular day or there is a power problem, there could be  a drainage problem or someone might have dug up the road creating problem or I might just have an accident and need to deal with govt. How do I know the system well?

He told me that secratariat is only for policy making and we got departments that are implementation/execution agencies and each dept has one Principle secratary etc. At times one principle secratary may be representing multiple departments belonging to differnt ministries so it becomes interesting that one person is responsible for multiple ministers. It is at the convenience of the government.

I was chatting with him further. If information is so difficult to understand and extract, how will a common man understands, he suggested me to write all suggestions to concerned departments and then follow it up. I had doubts. what if I start doing that and then suddently the govt changes? he supported me that some one brought an idea of having single identity and link with everything in the country (aadhar) and then someone now says that is useless. I said, exactly same thing if I want to do it through government. What if I join a team and then extract this information and build a website?

He agreed it will be good idea and I can do that. well, with thanking him, I started back home. I needed to ask few more directions for EXIT.

Wish they have arranged a proper notice and also proper directions for various blocks etc. The secratariat is not for common people, they made it so complex that no one can find right person or department.

The people I met are same like me, They are from earth and look same like me and not my enemies. They sympathize with everything that I talked about and looks like it needs lot of learning/training to all the people around to make real good policies and implement them. everyone including KCR and his family ministers and others and the employees need training on how to approach problem and solve etc.

Most importantly they need proper sign boards and remove those stupid barricades that increase the distance between buildings.

I might need to visit this office few more times to really understand more.

Complaint to Chief Minister

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Complaint to the Chief Minister

Dear Chief Minister,

I am writing this with great pain, My mother who is more than 65 years and is illiterate is made to make rounds to various government offices. Not just once but many times. My parents worked hard for me, though they were never aware of what I am studying or what my future would be, they gave their entire life for me. It is my responsibility to keep them happy, but unfortunately my father expired while working hard as a farmer. He never made crores with farming but he made loans because he was hard working farmer and never cheated anyone.  As a son it is really shocking. At least I wanted to keep my mother happy. She loves to stay in the village and not in the city, so she lives in Bhallanpally, Tadoor mandal, Mahbubnagar district. Her name is Laxmamma.

Please see  my mother's some of the sufferings as   a youtube video at this URL.

It is a big shock for me to see my mother making rounds to Mandal Office and then people are trying to suck money from her. Even a simple revenue seal (stamp) they are demanding 10 rupees, she had  3 forms and then she is forced to pay Rs 30.  When she wanted to transfer my father's LPG connection that guy asked her for Rs 200.

I see really a shameless administration who are sucking money from poor people with petty bribes. People are used to pay the bribes Mr. Chief Minister, but why should my mother suffer? what mistake she has done? to vote you to power?

I beg you Mr. Chief Minister, to let her live her life and do not make more pains to her.  Please advice your administration to stop the bribes at once and then simplify rules, what on earth makes you force old people stand in queues for pension or some other scheme at mandal offices etc, It is so scary to see so many news items where people died of sun stroke or heart attack while trying to get some govt benefit. I am not so sure Mr. Chief Minister why they need to be forced to die because of govt schemes. Who should be made responsible for this inhuman crime? Shouldn't be the government and the people running the government?

I am an ordinary person Mr. Chief Minister and do not want anything to happen to my mother like it happened for lot of people in the news. I want my mother to be safe and  for other mothers and fathers who are also having similar sufferings, I beg you Mr. Chief Minister, please STOP the BRIBES at once.

Mr. Chief Minister, I have 2 demands.

1. Visit Bhallanpally and convey your apologies for not being able to deliver a proper system and pay Rs 30 that my mother paid as bribe to the attender at the mandal office.
2. And for the benefit of all mothers and fathers of that age range, for GOD shake, please abolish all petty bribes.

I am a common man Mr. Chief Minister, My life is busy to take care of my small family, I really don't about the politics or politicians and what ever big money they eat. My humble request is please let the people have their right to live and please do the needed changes to stop the corruption that impacts small people. Every rupee that is hard earned is very important to me and people like me, we are toiling day and night to make sure the family gets food 3 times a day. Believe me, it is not a simple thing.

As the head of the state you are responsible for the bad administration, you don't need to just throw money Mr. chief minister and remember it is not your money but public money, make the system work properly. Make the employees work for what they are paid for and stop them being worst than beggers for taking inhumanly bribes from old people like my mother.

Mr. Chief Minister, if the demands are not met and if something happens to my mother or family because of the stupid govt policies or lousy govt administration, you and your family (the family members running the govt and not others) and all the ministers will be directly responsible for it and I am also writing to other departments and human rights organizations  so that they are aware of the facts and take notice of my complaint.

Harinath Mallepally