I thought I would share few experiences with Indian bureaucracy and its grievance redress system. First of all, I must tell you that, the “grievance redress system in Indian bureaucracy” is firmly in place, and it works mostly to the satisfaction of the complainant. But if you read news paper, watch TV News, one may believe the other wise!
Well, I think, Indians treat their problems more emotionally then logically. So when, most of the time, when they seem to have been treated unfairly by the bureaucracy or the system, they seem to love to play victim than trying to get justice using the built-in “Grievance Redress System” in place. Yes, I do agree many people are not aware of them, or many are too afraid to approach them fearing aggravating their problems.
But, I had no such fear and thanks to Google God, I am confident of information about grievance redress system and like to use them.
1. Keep written record
The most basic thing to remember while trying to get justice in any Grievance Redress System is not to get emotional about the issue, but be reasonable and arm yourself with facts and figure. Also, Indian bureaucracy can not work verbally ( rightly so), so one has to keep written record of following of the procedures. Including all the official correspondence, courier details, speed post or registered post records etc. Bureaucracy has no space for personal emotions, so avoid getting angry, use of abusive languages, shouting at counters etc. Trust me, they do not help your cause.
2. Do not be afraid.
The officers are no more qualified than you. Always remember, the all powerful collector, IAS/IPS officers are just graduate in education just like you but smarter than you to clear UPSC. The same is true for every government officers in any bureaucratic setup. The incidents like “Ruchika Girhotra – ex DGP SPS Rathore” are extreme cases and rare. Normally such thing will not happen to you. Majority of the Indian officers are God fearing, hones, work honestly and follow rules.
3. Be patient, do not give up
Yes, do not give up. Keep following up. Now a days, following up is just an Email Away or FAX. Or one may send follow mail through speed post or registered post. They help as they maintain date and time stamp. These correspondences are important as they are in written format and bureaucracy love them and never lose them.
4. Follow procedure
Now a days, there is a deadline to close any application within a fixed period. Learn them and follow them. After that accelerate the complaint to higher authority. Yes, they work.
By following above tricks, I have been able to get my grievances redressed in many government departments. Some of them are :-
1. State Bank of India
a. In Guwahati, I could get Rs. 18 as interest for delay of Cheque cleraance for one day. To be fair to them, all bank officers were on strike.
b. I got my SBI account opened in the second day in Jaipur. On first visit, my documents were not complete. On second visit documents were complete but the officer simply refused to open our account and asked to come back next day. I protested and called the grievance Telephone number displayed int he branch and my account was opened after 10 minutes.
2. North Eastern Council
Complained to DONER ministry by email about broken bridge on NEC funded road with images of the road. New wooden bridge was constructed in 3 months time.
3. Director General of Civil Aviation in Udaipur Airport
This is experience my my friend Ankit who was wrongly charged parking while standing in queue. He emailed DGCA authorities. Now no car is charged for waiting in queue to pass the toll gate. He also got an written apology for his inconvenience.
These were some of the experiences. I have many other similar experiences in Railways, Collector office, Municipality office, Government Hospitals, Police Stations where I thought I was not getting proper treatment of service as per my privilege as a citizen, I complained to citizen grievance cell and got my issues fixed ( sometime quickly, sometime it took time).
I have not failed to get my grievance addressed even a single instance. Yes, some time it took time, I had to visit offices and attend meetings with officials etc., but at the end, truth always prevailed.