Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Have your say!

I stood in front of my window at 4.30 am in the morning and stared outside at the balcony of the neighboring apartment building. There was a bunch of bachelors smoking, drinking and making noise. This is the usual deal - every weekend especially Sunday nights, mostly till Monday early morning.  I watched on helplessly as they made noise without a single worry or concern for their neighbors. Amongst all the challenges I face on hectic Monday mornings, the exhaustion of a sleepless night caused due to these morons, is an unnecessary overhead. What makes matters harder is that my little boy is a light-sleeper!

To cut the long story short, let me tell you that we tried everything to deal with this issue - including talking to them politely in the beginning. Once we tried calling the cops on 100 as well, but the call went unanswered (can you believe it??). To all  those people who think that any help in an emergency is just a phone-call away, let me forewarn you - 100 does not work at times!

I tried seeking more ideas and support on some Facebook groups. Surprisingly, in one group of fellow mums, I was told, "Live and let live,". "You can't do anything about it", "Everyone parties on weekends". Some of them were quite taken aback that I actually called '100' to report this. Calling any of the authorities for help is not very common - even when one really needs help.  

I realized that most people do not know their rights as citizens. "No one can help, nothing works", is what a majority of people believe. I don't blame them. The number of stories of bribery and corruption we hear, make us cynical. But there are many avenues and options to seek help in such cases. In a world of very high connectivity, you can reach out to seek support from many people and make enough noise if things go awry.

I have a couple of examples to quote:
On my way back home from office for a couple of days, I saw a big trailer truck parked in the wrong place that was causing too much of unnecessary traffic on the road. I tweeted to BTP about this and within minutes they replied back saying it has been taken care of. When I mentioned this to a couple of my friends who were equally troubled by the daily traffic, they was surprised that I complained! 

Recently, I also posted a complaint on about 2-3 stretches of bad roads and potholes on my way to work. Within 3 days of my complaint being posted. I saw that the road was being tarred. I was pleasantly surprised at the promptness. The roads had been in this state since 4-5 years and all it took was a formal online complaint to bring this to the notice of authorities. (Sad state of affairs. But, it worked!)

There are many times when our pleas to various govt agencies do not work. Bribery and corruption are rampant everywhere. It is not just in public sector, but even in the private sector, things are not the way they should be. But people do not know that they can make their voice count. 

I am probably deemed as a complaint-box. But I look at it differently. Speaking up at the right authorities, on the right platform only makes you more powerful. Complaining about issues inside your homes, only harbors negativity. People tend to think twice before they do something wrong when they know that there is a "whiny" person who will set things right.

As for the bachelors next door, I am methodically evaluating all my options to handle the issue in the right way. It won't be too long before they find cops at their doorstep and a stink-bomb in their balcony. ;).