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Old 26th March 2009, 20:23   #1
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Default An hour of Public service for Voters ID

Thought I would share this small experience with all TBHPians. It was time that we got a Voters Id card as our old Voters id (issued in Bombay) were misplaced due to multiple shifting houses in Bangalore.

I was getting into office in the 2nd half of the day on 17th March 09 so decided to Visit the BBMP office at Bommanahalli to get the Voters Id card. Wifey and I reached the place at 10:15 AM and were surprised to see more than 500 people in various queues and were actually lost looking at the entire process. The front office table was administered by an aged man and I asked my wife to approach him as she is fluent in Kannada but did not yield much and was asked to stand in one of the queues or come after 3 days. We stood in along-with the rest not knowing when we will reach the counter.

I approached the concerned official and he dumped numerous list, which had headers in Kannada but the only saving grace was the names were printed in English / Kannada. I went through a dozen of them and could not find our names; being a Christian name I did expect spelling errors but could not relate any of them. I spoke to the official once again and told him that we had voted in the past and that seem to work as he pointed me to another queue with 4-5 people; the queue did not seem to move as the person concerned had left his computer and had gone out for some work. We approached the official once again and this time he asked me if I knew to operate the computer.

On agreement he asked someone to start the machine and teach me on the usage of the search engine and then requested me to help out for an hour, I accepted the same without hesitation as I would have wasted my time standing in another long queue for the photograph and the Voters Id card.

Wifey and I spend an hour working as a team; she would read out the names in Kannada and also explain to them what needs to be done next. I was amazed how one could get the right data, there were numerous mistakes including street names, house numbers etc. few e.g of names Vincent as S. Cent, Samuel as Swomula, Vishwanath – Wishwanath, Abdul – Aabadul etc. At the stroke of an hour we had the satisfaction of helping at least 25-30 people and directing to them to the right place. Yes we did have to take the ire of the public at times in-fact we were questioned why are we working together as a couple while the other counters were manned by a single person. Some said you are getting paid so move faster etc.

One thing I realized that there were a lot of limitations during the search; lucky for me my name was spelled correctly and also the house number was correct which saved me my day.

We were given priority to get ourselves photographed and also issued the card in less than a minute with all corrections to our name, surname, DOB and address. We were also requested to help out during the weekend unfortunately could not go there as we were not in town. I enjoyed my hour of public service and if we aren’t travelling this weekend, we will be there.

Hope this is the right section else request Mods to move this thread.

Last edited by Hurrycane12 : 26th March 2009 at 20:25.
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Old 26th March 2009, 20:42   #2
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Good job done,buddy! very noble gesture,in helping the middle aged man.
We need a few more people like you in the society,so that somewhere somehow things would improve.A few good deeds by a handful of citizens,that could do wonders!
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Old 26th March 2009, 20:47   #3
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Good Job done by you. But my question is why do the hire people who dont know how to do their job? if everyone knows their job properly i guess there wont be a que in the first place!!!
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Old 26th March 2009, 21:06   #4
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This could be OT - I would be interested to know the reaction of you both, when the frustrated/irritated public picked on you guys....

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Yes we did have to take the ire of the public at times in-fact we were questioned why are we working together as a couple while the other counters were manned by a single person. Some said you are getting paid so move faster etc.
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Old 27th March 2009, 09:29   #5
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Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
Good job done,buddy! very noble gesture,in helping the middle aged man.
We need a few more people like you in the society,so that somewhere somehow things would improve.A few good deeds by a handful of citizens,that could do wonders!
Thanks Nitin did gives a insight on how the govt dept works.

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Good Job done by you. But my question is why do the hire people who dont know how to do their job? if everyone knows their job properly i guess there wont be a que in the first place!!!
The Voters Id part is outsourced to Macro Infotech (I hope I got the name right) and I had the same question to them and there was the usual reply of lack of manpower etc. One thing I missed was next to me there was kid maybe 13-14 years old who was also part of the team working on the PC.

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This could be OT - I would be interested to know the reaction of you both, when the frustrated/irritated public picked on you guys....
Oh Boy we too were getting cheesed off but that would have been anyones reaction as we too were in their shoes too. My wife started explaining to them on how we landed the job and the crowd started appreciating our help.
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Old 27th March 2009, 10:03   #6
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Had a similar experience when I had gone to collect my driving license few years back from the Trichy RTO.

After the test and documents submittion, was told to come back after 5 for photograph and the license. Went to the RTO at 4.30, since I thought I might get lucky. Do note that things are more stream lined and very hazzle free every since they came out with laminated card system.

Notice a long queue and no one was moving. Waited for an hour and then went about finding out why no progress which landed me inside the office where they take the photo and laminate.

The lady at the desk told me that the system is not working and they are waiting for the service guy since morning!!!

Being the curious cat, I peep into the system to see what application / software they use. While at it, the lady asks me if I 'know computer'.

One question leading to another and finally figured that they just had a folder mapping issue, where the photos (which were taken in another system) could not be accessed and uploaded to the central server for the license generation. And this mapping went off because the actual user was on leave and this lady was trying to help out.

Sat and started doing license info feeding (with their help) and making sure the photos were accessible and the printer was also accessible. Cleared of all those who had waited post 6PM (after which it got corrected) and was there till 8.30PM. When all was done, did my own license. And yes, I had the option of selecting what all licenses I was approved to drive!

And guess what, in midst of all this, the RTO walked in asking how the issue is and he see a outsider sitting and accessing their system. The lady says that I am the 'thambi' helping them out. He just gives a pat on the back and say thanks and goes on.

A day well ended, especially since I had a 10.30 bus to catch back to Bangalore and I had taken a day off just to get this license.
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Old 27th March 2009, 10:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurrycane12 View Post
I was amazed how one could get the right data, there were numerous mistakes including street names, house numbers etc. few e.g of names Vincent as S. Cent, Samuel as Swomula, Vishwanath Wishwanath, Abdul Aabadul etc.
This is a nationwide phenomena. I cannot understand how they can make mistakes copying off a legibly filled form. Every single person in my building had multiple mistakes in their Voter IDs.
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Old 27th March 2009, 10:57   #8
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This is a nationwide phenomena. I cannot understand how they can make mistakes copying off a legibly filled form. Every single person in my building had multiple mistakes in their Voter IDs.
The reason for this I feel is they write down the names in the local language while compling the list and then they do a literal translation in English and loose out on the actual spellings.

Happywheels: You must have had the same kind of feelings I had when you got your DL done yourself.

I was happy to sit and work on their desk and get my stuff the right way I wanted too else my surname being unsual I would have to keep begging for every correction.
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Old 27th March 2009, 12:16   #9
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...Happywheels: You must have had the same kind of feelings I had when you got your DL done yourself...
Oh yes! It was very exiting. It is not everyday that one gets to do this and not everyone gets such a chance.

And the people who were waiting in the line were even more surprised to find a 'non-official' doing the work. And the best part was that all the people in that department were trying to finish as much as possible, due to backlog, and hence things went off really well, albeit a bit (long bit) delayed. And also, the people waiting for the license were happy that they were not send back and asked to come back later.

But it did bring out a question - such a simple thing, but the difficulty the users were facing. Shows the lack of proper training and the users awareness.
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Old 29th March 2009, 09:55   #10
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Kudos to both of you HappyWheels & Hurrycane12. Would love to do something like this once in my life.
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