At the outset, let me clarify that any person serving the public directly is a public servant. I observed something special during the security check at an airport by a CISF (Central Industrial Securities Force) employee. The person who was being frisked before me wished him a good morning from the bottom of his heart (like Vidya Balan’s Gooood Morning Mumbai in Lage Raho Munnabhai). I could immediately see the effect of this on the CISF employee who looked very happy.
Now, some may argue that the CISF employee was doing his job and thus there is no need to either wish him ‘good morning’ or ‘thank you’. But, let me tell you at the expense of becoming philosophical that we are all human beings and should love and respect each other. The public servants play a major role in providing some direct services that contribute to the well being of this society be it police, public transport system drivers and conductors, firemen, doctors, etc.
Today, anything that is preceded by this adjective ‘Government’ like Government teachers, Government doctors, etc has become a taboo. The world ‘Government’ itself has come to mean ‘inefficient’. Institutes like All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the like are more of an exception. Many of them attribute this lackadaisical attitude of the ‘government employees’ to the job security. But I beg to differ from them. I have seen an organisation ( a muncipal corporation) with thousands of employees being transformed by an officer. I do not know the exact organizational behaviour techniques that the officer used but some of them that were visible were the introduction of uniform for the employees including the sweepers, weekly attendance parade, delegation of powers, provision of all the facilities required by the employees to perform their tasks efficiently, etc.
The public servants are not paid well (relative to those in the private sector). Moreover, some of them are not provided enough facilities at their workplace (particularly, the police). This is what makes them vulnerable to corrupt practices. Traveling in an autorickshaw without paying is also a corrupt practice according to me. So, the government needs to take care of the needs of its employees. Moreover, officers who can act as good leaders and a friend in the organizations that they command are the need of the hour. But we have more of ‘kingly’ officers who do not hesitate to get their wife’s shopping done by their subordinates.
In this respect, I have a plan to start a ‘Self respect movement‘ to make the government servants aware of their valuable contribution to this society and also the responsibility that is vested in them because of such an important position in the society.