Raise your voice, respectfully

This is our country. The problems are ours to solve and there is no “outsourcing” button here. All of us see a number of problems around us, some of which impact us and some impact people around us. It could be a pot holed road or a broken water pipeline or senseless parking or cheating at a petrol station. And most of us think that dealing with these problems is a time consuming process that should be left to few individually with some iron hard determination.

The answer is NO! We all can raise our voice and report such issues to the concerned authorities. Two key things to remember while doing this:

  1. Be respectful to the person on other side. Give details of the issue and suggest a solution. Do not resort to sarcasm, do not abuse the other person. Avoid negativity. Remember, the intent of raising the complaint is to get the issue resolved – not to prove yourself right or not to prove that the other person is wrong.
  2. Second important thing is patience. You are dealing with Government employees and things might not move fast. 90% of your complaints might not even receive a response. But the key is to keep raising your voice. Say 1% of the complaints you raised are addressed to and fixed. Then think if a 1000 people raise such complaints everyday. As a group, we will start having a better impact.

Below are some of the tools I have used successfully in making myself heard. You should also try these whenever required:

  1. Twitter – most of the government departments and ministers (central or state) are on Twitter. You may simply put down your complaint in 140 characters and share with them. Try add images of the problems to your tweet for a faster response. This works. I have received responses from Ministry of External Affairs, Telangana Government, Bangalore Traffic Police, Hyderabad Police on multiple occasions to my Twitter based complaints.
  2. http://pgportal.gov.in – This works for your complaint on any central government run departments or ministries. I got responses from Ministry of Road Transport/Highways, Labour Ministry, Urban Development Ministry. This is an excellent site ALL you complaints are responded to. Try it.
  3. Fuel companies – All fuel companies like Hindustan Petroleum maintain their own customer complaints portal. I recently lodged a complaint of cheating on a HP petrol pump on their website and received a call from their area manager promising action.
  4. Provident fundhttp://epfigms.gov.in/ is the site to log your complaints related to Provident Fund. I had multiple issues in transferring my PF balance. Every complaint of mine was responded within a week. In some cases, someone from PF office called me on my mobile the very day to understand what the issue is and addressed is while on the call itself.
  5. RTI – Trust me, filing an RTI is not a cumbersome process at all. If you need information from any of the central government ministries/departments, simply go to https://rtionline.gov.in/ and submit your request. Rs 10 fees has to be paid and it can be done using net banking / credit card. Everything is online and a complete RTI can be submitted in 10 minutes.

And if you are in the state of Telangana, here are some ways you can raise your concerns with various state government departments.

  1. http://pgportal.gov.in – This portal has a general link to all Telangana Government related grievances. Once a complaint is lodged, it will get redirected to concerned Telangana department.
  2. http://210.212.212.123/ghmc/csp/home_csp – GHMC portal for grievances related to Hyderabad
  3. https://www.roadbuild.telangana.gov.in/grievance.do – Telangana Roads & Buildings department
  4. http://tsiic.telangana.gov.in/contact-us/ – TSIIC maintains all roads in the IT areas of Hyderabad. Reach out to them in case of any issues

I hope this article is helpful to you. Please use the comments section of this blog to add any other mechanisms that you tried and were successful in getting your grievances resolved with government departments.

A better India is not going to happen simply by expressing views on social media or with our friends circle. We have to raise our voices in the right forums. Good luck!

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