Who cares if its just a single rupee? But its bothering me too much of late. Particularly in the last 24 hours, I just freaked out.
See these small things from the time I started at home to bangalore:
- The tea/coffee vendor in the Railway compartment was charging rs.1/- extra;
- The vegetarian meal was charged 1/- extra too;
- The butter milk vendor on the railway platform gave me a nice smile when i questioned the 1/- extra on MRP;
- Newspaper, chips, cool drinks were all charged 1/- to 2/- more and the magazines were even 5/- dearer;
- The guy at the pre-paid auto counter at majestic railway station was asking rs.2/- instead of 1/- as service charge;
- when I came home, the milk booth nearby was demanding 1/- extra on each packet of milk;
- Going to office and the boy at the ‘free-air’ point of the petrol station was asking 1/- too;
- Forget the auto drivers, bus conductors, street hackers… and the list is unending….
And this is not what frustrated me the most. When I started questioning, most of them, who should otherwise feel guilty, stared at me as if I am doing them gross injustice. The guy at the auto pre-paid counter was even ready to assault. The milk booth guy loudly justified why he is charging extra and also told me not to buy milk in his counter, if i am not willing to pay with a smile. The pantry car experience was even worse. He straightly yelled that there is no printed menu card and i can consult any railway official if i have any problem.
Even then this is all ok, because I kind of expected those responses. But what hurt me most is how the others around me reacted. Even when I was telling the people in line at pre-paid auto counter that there is a printed receipt only for rs.1/-, none of them listened to me and went on paying rs.2/-. i will forever cherish the expression of that guy who was collecting the money. The next person in line even mumbled something against me too. heck.
Times Of India, sometime back, made a conservative estimate of INR 80 lac to 1 crore turn-over PER DAY of this one-rupee-extra business ONLY for the milk sold in Bangalore (that is in JUST ONE CITY). You can imagine the volumes for Indian Railways and other stuff. There are so many big scams everyone talks about, but in my opinion, these smaller scams are the ones that are purely going unnoticed but could be quite bigger. If you think people are not aware of this, then you are wrong. They know this, but are just lazy and complacent to raise the voice.
So, why am I writing all this nonsensical, boring story? wasting all your reading time..
It is to request you all to say NO to such practices and start questioning whoever charges this 1/- extra. At least I will not be alone and someday we can all make a difference together.. And one more embarrassing request: PLEASE SPREAD THIS MSG and only thats how i get more people on board.