Unlike most people, I don’t think BBMP is an inefficient civic body. I feel they are very environmentally-aware and are always coming up with new ways to implement it. I know you might be thinking, “This is a crazy man? All our lakes are dying, and all the trees being cut down and all!” You have the right to your opinion, but hear me out.
I was working on an article about a BBMP initiative called Roshini. With Roshini, BBMP schools across the city were going to get free Microsoft products. They were even giving free training to teachers. You may think, “How nice, children are getting free stuff”.
I say no, I feel the government is influencing BBMP to come up with such ideas to get back all the money that Microsoft is making off Indians. BBMP and the government are being very smart – they are using money that is already ours.
Because I was working on this, I had to call BBMP. I got a few numbers online initially. Nobody knew anything about Roshini. Everyone kept telling me to call someone else. They were all trying super-hard to keep a secret.
Finally I got a BBMP document from Google that had listed all their contact numbers. I called 13 or 15 numbers, and some weren’t working. I was getting worried because Roshini was a secret, and I had no information to write about it. When I told my mentor that the phones were not working, she told me that sometimes they don’t pay the phone bill.
I went back to my table and started thinking. If BBMP phones aren’t working, there must be some reason…then I remembered. I had read this one article that said mobile phones were causing problems to birds. The signals were doing some brain-thing to them. And then it struck me, that is why BBMP phones are not working! I was very impressed! BBMP I felt, should be nick-named ‘bird-saver’. They cared so much that they did not pay for their phones. They would rather talk to no one and be lonely, than let the birds die.
So I decided to call their landlines. In total, there were 86 landline numbers available from the website. Of these, 13 did not exist, two were out of order, one didn’t ring, one was being shifted, another not allowed, and one was withdrawn. Other than these, there were numbers that were functional, but no one was answering them.
I eventually went to the BBMP head office to collect the information. I then happened to chance by someone I had tried to call the day before. So I casually told him that I’d been trying to reach him but his line wasn’t working. He looked at me, face full of surprise, and picked up the landline with a quizzical expression. After holding the phone to his ear and realising I was right, he gave me a huge smile and said, “Yeah, there’s some problem with it.” I thanked him for his help and left the vicinity thinking how wonderful our BBMP was.