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14 February 2007

Life is beautiful

I am a passionate votary of public transport, eco-friendly travel & commuting etc. My interest in the topic began many years ago with a book called "Asphalt Nation", I'd recommend to read it if you haven't as it is an interesting account of effect on the world due to automobiles. But who can argue the comfort of a personal car and convenience of taking a flight. In any case, the state of public transport is close to my heart, I take it as much as possible, read, and write on it. The latest is this site, which allows one to post complaints and grievances online about errant taxi and auto rickshaw drivers in Mumbai.

I haven't checked it out or used it yet as it was only in the newspaper today, but I am very impressed at the number of efforts that I wanted to see happening and I am seeing them implemented in my lifetime at least ( Ban on child labour, bill on domestic violence, now this). Consumer forums and citizen initiatives are fine but when done by governance authorities it builds confidence. Poor service is not only the fault of the provider, but also the consumer and customer who compromises on what he is paying for. And more so when there are re-dressal mechanisms existing. My personal battle always is to balance this without losing the quintessential Indian nature of "Solpa adjust maadi" (kannada for "kindly adjust"). An attitude that is not just a local ethos but, the very foundation of the spirit of tolerance that is India.

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