Place: Ticket counter Indian railways

Author: Rajesh Madhavan | Filed under: , , , ,

It was in Ernakulum Railway station. I was on my way back home from my college. I was supposedly to catch the 18:30 passenger train. I was late but still managed to reach the railway station 10 minutes before the train’s departure. I had no hope to get the ticket, looking at the long queue, and almost all of them, I guess were for the same passenger train. I could hardly see what’s happening in the ticket counter. In between I can see a few angry people murmuring something and walking out from the counter. I patiently waited and some how managed to reach the counter. Some what happy, rather exited with the fact that I am going home. This is the last train around this time. After this, trains are available only in the morning. I took my wallet. I had exactly fifty rupees with me; In fact I borrowed it from my room mate. I gave it to the counter. To my surprise he was shouting at me to go and get Change for this fifty rupees and then come for the ticket. Initially I was not sure why he was shouting. It was really difficult to move out of the queue without the ticket, more over it was getting late. Thanks to one of the auto driver there, he gave me the change.

There are many ways to look at this incident. It was not just the fact that I did not get ticket that made me feel uneasy. If so I shout not have been upset after getting the ticket. What is it that made me feel bad ?  The way the officer reacted to my fifty rupees and the embarrassment that I had in front of everyone; that was still haunting me. Though these idiots do not have anything to do with my life; has hurt my self respect so much. Who will teach them how to deal with, we the poor customers. Where are customer rights forums. If they don’t learn that day is not far when some one will forcefully teach them what to do and how to do. May be that is the next freedom struggle in India( struggle for Self-respect ). You may call it ego; but I say, if you call self respect as ego then I have no comments.

The main reason for all these miseries is the educational background of all these employees. The sad fact is that even the educated ones joins this uncivilized ones to offend the poor people. All these are; may be the give away of our age old feudal social structure. People who were subjected to the feudal rules have their frustration towards the so called feudal lords and the lords always wanted the same paraphernalia's even now in the 21 century. All these adds to the woes of the common man, who give their money so that these Neo Lords and slaves could languish their life and then have sufficient energy to shout at them as a feedback. That's why we call it “Kaliyoug”.

A passenger is greeted with a welcome and thank you before boarding a flight. And the same passenger if in a queue to board the train, has to take the wrath from this Railway employees; if he does not have sufficient change or if he has too many questions. What is the difference in both these cases. We remain the same common passenger itself. Is that the money which make them say thank you and welcome?.  Are they doing a favor by sitting in the counter and offer Tickets?. We pay them every second they occupy that seat. We are not asking for a hi-tech railway station; it is just their service that we are asking. Service delivery rule books has to be re-written; its high time now. Let walk towards the change.

I don’t want to make this a lamentation portal, on this petty grievances. Lets together think what can be done to improve this scenario. I would request all the readers to come up with suggestions. I am sure we can put it to action very soon. Lets not loose hope.

My Suggestions:

  1. They( railway employees,especially those into customer relationship management ) should have a smile on their face atleast, when we are at the ticket counter.
  2. Just like ATM counter in all railway stations, they should have cash exchange counters and Kiosks( Converting money to lower Denominations' )
  3. They should be given an option to print and give the balance amount in the ticket  that can be en-cashed in any banks or Railway stations.

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