Monthly Archives: March 2014

Where there’s a will…there’s a ‘ROAD’ !

Q: When is the right time to do the right thing?
A: Who can say, but it’s usually most wise to start today.”

Here’s an interesting case study from ChangeBhai’s stable which saw a very active citizen upload a long pending issue of her neighbourhood, minutes after we launched the ChangeBhai portal officially. She thought it was most wise to start immediately. Here’s the story:

It so happened that minutes after we launched ChangeBhai, one of our early users uploaded this particular issue (Issue No. A0003) titled ‘Bad Road in Rohini’.  The issue was put into process by the ChangeBhai team within a few days. It seemed that this road in question was a major source of grief for the residents of this area. Even the most active ones had given up when it came to taking it up with the authorities. It has been like this since the last 3 years now. You can say that that delay had indeed turned out to be the worst form of denial here.

A short note on why getting this road fixed was critical:

rohini sector 9


This road connects around 30 housing societies of Sector 9, Rohini to a busy commercial area housing, amongst other things, three shopping malls: City Centre, Metro walk & Shopper’s Stop. The condition of the road was beyond pathetic and yet, the citizens were widely using it, as it was the quickest way to reach the commercial area.

While most of the other issues we were receiving were getting resolved with minor delays (if any), this one stuck out like a sore thumb! After a lot of follow-ups (read escalations, verbal threats, giving up, getting-a-grip-again, sticking-daily-motivational-quotes-post-its etc.), we managed to get the authorities to approve the construction of this road early this year! A lot of follow ups later, the work finally started in February. Uff.

One of our newly hired management trainees has depicted the history of this case graphically as below:

delhi issue timeline

Have a look at the images below and we are sure, you will be motivated to report a similar long pending issue of your area:

20140220_130447 delhi-4


I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”

We, at ChangeBhai strongly and emphatically recommend that this particular Law ‘Prevention of cruelty to animals act. 1960’  be added to the list of ‘The Most Ridiculous And Outdated Animal Laws in the world’. It is so incredibly vague in today’s context that we had to literally pinch ourselves when somebody sent it to us and told us politely why Issue# A0260 on ChangeBhai pertaining to ‘Cruelty to Caged Birds’ cannot be resolved.

Actual image uploaded by the user : Issue# A0260
Actual image uploaded by the user : Issue# A0260. Check the bottom-most cage btw.

We were in touch with a senior Animal Welfare Officer to get this issue resolved. Fantastic guy, but of course, as helpless as the user who reported the issue. He patiently explained to us that the law which pertains to this issue is so archaic and outdated that the police as well as the courts refuse to entertain such issues. There have been a lot of unsuccessful attempts, he told us.

Getting back to the ‘so called facts’. Apparently, Chaper III, Point 11(e) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. 1960 says:

“Treating animals cruelly

: keeps or confines any animal in any cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement;”

Now, the problem is the word ‘SUFFICIENTLY’. The animal abusers get away with it by arguing that the enclosure in which they have put the animal/bird is ‘sufficient’. In our case, the pet shop owner can very conveniently say that he thinks putting 15 birds in a 2 feet * 1 feet enclosure is more than sufficient. Clearly, nobody bothered to define the word ‘Sufficient’ way back in 1960. I don’t really blame the guys completely as at that time there were no organized ‘Pet Shops’ selling birds in cages.

The Animal Welfare Officer also informed us that ex-minister Jairam Ramesh tried to do something about it and he conceptualised something known as The Animal Welfare Act,2011 and the Pet Shop Rules,2010. These legislations intended to replace the existing Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, were to provide for enhanced penalties and clearer definitions of animal abuse.

No prizes for guessing but no, nothing happened after that. And here we are, determined to get this issue closed. We urge all of you to help us spread the word and share it with people you know.

 Psst…Next time when you see birds in a small cage please bug the store owner so that he knows that we, the Urban Indians are NOT OK with it.