Be the one

I used to live in a fallacious world as I believed that youngsters like me did not encourage or espouse injustice in any way. They are quick to demand their rights and remind people of the laws. Until I encountered a bunch of college going students (I am one too) at this canteen at Pragati Maidan under the patronage of MCD. Me and my friends bought a packet of wafers M.R.P of which was Rs. 5 and the canteenwallah charged Rs. 7. We gave him a good word like always and until we took out our press cards he refused to relent . . Seeing us engrossed in that confrontation there was bunch of nosey-poker guys who came to ‘sort’ the matter. Rather than supporting us in demanding our rights as consumers, they started taking side of the canteenwallah saying “Let the poor man earn”. If they are so bothered about this ‘poor man’ why don’t they pay for all us ‘stingy people’ the extra 2 rupees? Getting into a fight with the canteenwallah took much of our time but it was nothing if compared to the value of consumer protection laws. Not only was he overcharging. the shopkeeper was drunk and thus abused those guys when we left. That is when they came running to us and enquired about the action they can take.

Sometime ago, the Delhi government introduced a help line number for complaining against the autowallahs who will be challaned for not going by meter. How many of us has ever used it or even remember this number (23010101). While boarding an auto, never succumb to his excuses of any kind. Never enquire his will to go to a particular destination. He cannot say no to you for any destination however jammed its route is. If he makes excuses like no gas, meter is not working or he needs to return his rented taxi to the owner just don’t buy them. Search for a traffic policeman in the vicinity and teach him a lesson. Surprisingly, despite being so educated and aware we take this casual attitude and let the autowallahs take us for granted. I noticed a girl boarding an auto from ISBT Kashmere Gate to Ashram. Auto driver asked for Rs. 120 and girl haggled for Rs. 100 while meter would not have read more then Rs.80.When I suggested her to go by meter she said she knew nobody would go. Generally, autowallahs guarantee us that no other auto would also take us for lesser price. If they can be so united in their decision, why cannot we be in ours?

Our country being a democracy has four estates out of which legislature, judiciary and media are directly related to the common man. Legislature may have made laws to ensure welfare of the nation but it would not happen until we people take some interest in other estates too. Rather blaming our politicians for being corrupt can’t we go to judiciary for protection? And of course it takes a lot of time to initiate legal action but news channels desperately need fodder to serve the horse called 24 hours news channel. So be the one to raise your voice for what is right.

Monica Verma

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