Yesterday I – along with 4 of my friends – decided to meet someone at the Ministry of Health, Delhi to guide us on a project we had undertaken.
Then we thought,”Who better to meet than the Minister of Health himself?” and so we dialled his office number.
His secretary promptly picked up the receiver and told us to be there at 8:30 a.m. today.
This surprised me because of 2 reasons:
- “Wow, ministers actually start working that early?”
- “How could they expect us to wake up that early?”
The next morning went in a flurry of various procedures to look a bit smart (“Bhai minister se milne jaa rahe hain.”) In the end, we made it there by the skin our teeth. We were late, FYI. We reached there by 8:45. But thank God Indians are not known for their punctuality. Mr. Satyendra Jain entered the office 5 minutes after we took our seats.
Satyendra Jain’s office/ residence is situated at Bungalow 2, 8 Raj Niwas Marg. Our entry was barred by a black gate as security personnel asked us the purpose of our visit. A nameplate outside the gate informed us of the post held by Mr. Jain. His portfolio not only includes Health but also Industries, Home, Public Works Department and Power. (Talk about keeping a diversified portfolio).
As we looked clueless about where to go, his secretary came to us and informed us to take our seats in his office. And then we got to know a very important detail:
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m, Satyendra Jain keeps his office open to the public to come up with their issues and grievances.
And so we found around 30 people waiting in his office, seeking an appointment with the minister. And then he arrived.
And then, one by one, everyone went up to talk to him. And he gave everyone due importance. He listened to the problem of a person patiently and consoled him when he broke down trying to narrate his problem. He obliged when someone requested to take a picture with him. Never once did he look flustered or clueless because of the issues lying in front of him but sorted them out in a cool, efficient manner.
By that time, we all were quite scared to think whether he will actually listen to us or not. But listen he did. He gave us a few excellent suggestions of his own too. He didn’t treat us like children but like grownups. Even though he picked out a few flaws in our argument, he recommended some solutions for them at the same time.
We came out of his office feeling satisfied with our meeting. I was pretty impressed by his style of work. And I think the others felt the same way. He assured those who were in plight. He gave his suggestions wherever he could. Where he could not, he told his secretaries to take up their issue.
Everything was done at an efficient pace so that enough time was given to everyone while also ensuring that everyone’s issue was heard.
Whether this facility was available during Sheila Dixit’s time, I don’t know. But it is surely a great way to connect with the masses so that the government actually stays up to date with the problems of the public and delivers on its electoral promises better.
But I was not thinking all this after exiting his office. All I was thinking about was the fact that we had just met an incumbent minister! How cool is that? The next few thoughts were all about planning how to tell it to my friends.
And thus, the idea for this blog came up.
So do we need Kejriwal and way of politics? Here is what a fellow blogger thinks.