Saturday, May 22, 2010

Babus rule!

This is not about the Bihari Babu or the Bengali Babu but our very own babus who rule our government offices - the sarkari babus. Noone can ever win a prize for locating a sarkari babu in a crowd.
Now that I am a part of the system (though temporarily) I am getting a "hands on" experience of why things move at a slow pace. While corresponding to a donor agency is as simple as clicking the send button on your email, its not easy when you are a part of the system. On one hand the funding agency is always in a hurry and on the other the sarkari babu is just not able to move! You can very well imagine the state of someone sandwiched between a donor agency and the "system". The letter that you could simply send through the "send button" still follows the centuries old route of sitting in files and moving from table to table till the issue dies its own death! An example is a letter sent by my funding agency on May 5 and reaching me on May 22! So even if you are prompt and sincere and particular about meeting deadlines you are "not required" to the same under the "system".
The babus "work" from monday to saturday (a day extra as compared to any NGO or corporate) yet things are the same from monday to saturday. Its not that all babus are the same. There are many who actually work and are prompt but are marred by the weight of files and number of portfolios they are supposed to handle.
The bottom line is that before talking about globalisation the government should go back to the office where it sits and globalises it first cum first! Some of basic capacity building issues are:
Computer skills, introduction to the world of internet and email, introduction to the choice of language be it hindi or english and last but not the least, some sense of "fashion" and "whats in". Now the last one is tooo much to ask for yet we can try for the best!
God bless the system!