Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Phone Call in time would have Saved a Life

About two weeks ago one of my friend had a tragic event. His young son committed suicide, while being in a collage, in his hostel. The reason as determined by Police was academic pressure.

The boy had been relegated  for poor attendance and it is said that he was yet again on the notice for relegation for poor attendance. I wondered, what could be such a pressure that made the young talented and smart boy to take such a drastic step.

Agree that the boy felt pressurized due to relegation, may be there were sibling comparisons (with another sibling of his) by relatives, may be he felt it impossible to face his parents with the news of yet another impending relegation. The reason that tripped his mind may known to the poor soul who has departed.

It is said that when one is angry he / she should not act immediately, rather count till 100 and then if the anger still persists, may be one can act / react. May be similar (not the same) act would work for restless souls thinking of such a drastic step. That is, that person should give himself / herself about 12 hours to think, rather rethink over his / her situation. Even better is to make a phone call and let out all his / her feelings, accumulated and building up like a pressure cooker whose pressure release is stuck, to parents or one of the parent to whom this person is close. In a pressure cooker when whistle gets stuck, it is the safety valve that saves the day. Statistically, the safety valve has extremely low failure rate and almost always works.

May be the phone call made at such a juncture is that safety valve that blows away pressure and saves the precious life. Even this may fail but chances of failure are extremely low as it also creates a window of diversion for the mind and  helps in rationalizing the thoughts.

If only the child had made a phone call and talked to some one about his predicament, may be a life would have got saved. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Very Organised Ganapati Visarjan

Today is 5th of Ganapati Festival. Most families having Ganapati generally have Visarjan of Lord Ganapati on this (5th day). While it is day of festivities, convergence of large no of families at locations around Mumbai for Visarjan generally result in chaos despite best efforts of Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation, political parties and volunteers.

When I came down to Prabhadevi for Visarjan of our family Ganapati we had Mayor's bungalow at Shivaji Park in our mind. The crowd and the traffic was deterring us. Then there was a change of plan. Instead of Shivaji Park we decided to go to Chavanni Gully (चवन्नी गल्ली) a offshoot from Prabhadevi Road. I understand this arrangement of artificial pond for Ganapati Visarjan has been in existence for three years.

It turned out to be in opposite direction from the flow of crowd  from our house. So the Kilometer long drive was smooth. From Prabhadevi Road when we turned in into Chavanni Gully what a pleasant surprise it was. It a a small ground with adequate parking, large number of volunteers to regulate people, fabulous artificial pond and volunteers to do Visarjan. Good crowd management,  excellent arrangements for Aarti of Lord Ganapati and Visarjan.

Post Visarjan the devotees were to go to reception where a certificate of eco friendly Visarjan in artificial pond, Prasad of Siddhi Vinayak Temple and surprise surprise, boiling hot Vada Pav,  that too ten of them. What a fabulous farewell to Lord Ganapati it turned out to be.

Thanks are due to Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and scores of Volunteers for having such organised and smooth arrangements for bidding good bye to dear guest Lord Ganapati. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Government Purchase System, A False Villain

It is a common comment that one hears that all stuff that govt buys is generally bad. Logic behind such sweeping statement is that when things are bought through lowest bid, how can it be good. Some people also say that even the soldiers are required to fight with the weapons purchased from L1 (lowest price) vendor.

Are such statements true? Are they Untrue? there is no definite answer. Such statements may be true in some cases and not true in most cases. I would like to put forth my argument to bring out that just because the stores items (including advance equipment for armed forces), machines, etc are bought following tendering process where L1 vendor supplies the items, they can not be substandard unless some person has compromised the process.

Let us look at it as to why? Everything that is bought is based on detailed Specification drawn out by the user. It is thus plain that if things are bought on strict specifications they have to be good even if at lowest cost.

Also when important items are bought they are generally bought on two bid system called technical
 bid, qualifying the vendors and the stores and financial bid,  where bids of vendors who qualify on technical bid alone are opened, a sure method to ensure quality of both stores and vendors.

In some cases one additional step of prequalification of vendors can be done.

Another method to ensure only serious vendors can quote is giving tender documents to only few vendors using Limited Tender method.

Only after all this is ensured the lowest bidder is asked to supply the store. In such a scenario substandard items can come in only and only if the process is compromised by an insider. In that case the system is compromised. Even when this system is good,  once compromised in becomes bad.