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It was just like another Sunday morning. Mr. Nandi was reading the newspaper. “ All bad news…murder, corruption, kidnapping and whatnot”. He cannot believe that good things disappeared from earth” Nandibabu was fuming. “Baba, tea.” Swati enters . She knows Nandibabu. He is not just father-in-law, her father too. She Said, ‘’Baba Why don’t you call up your journalist-friend , you will feel better.’’ Nandibabu agreed.
”Aniruddha, How is life?” “ I am good but what is bothering my friend ? ” Aniruddha replied from other end. “Earlier you journalists,were obsessed with collapse of USSR, Berlin wall, liberalization…And now? …shame on you people. Keep your eyes open , see real-life success- stories . Here is one out of many” Swati leaves the room with smile……. Nandibabu is unstoppable now.
There is a remote village Chandipur, 120 km away from Kolkata. Many villagers were addicted to country liquor. They used to spend their hard earned money on this and beat up their wives. Some villagers wanted to get rid of this evil. They tried individually but failed. The women were the worst sufferers. They found no “go” to reach. Situation was getting worse. At this critical juncture, all the women came forward. They decided to fight against this menace together. First they tried involving like-minded villagers to spread the message. It was not easy. Initially, nobody listened to them. But they did not give up. They tried convincing the villagers about the ill-effects of the liquor. They also met people at near- by villages for support and participation. They did not only resort to ‘”goody goody “ words . They threatened to burn the liquor shop. They started shutting the doors in front of their drunk husbands at midnight. Slowly things started changing …”Police , panchayats…?” Aniruddha interrupted .”Yes, Unlike you journalists, they came. But as usual police ,local administration came late after wait and watch and calculating their own gain. But, they did not try to hijack this movement rather participated . The liquor shop was closed, bank accounts were opened, and rehabilitation camps were set up. Thus a village , a generation was saved.”
Nandibabu was so excited that Swati overheard all of it from kitchen. Suddenly, a flash back –she went down the memory lane……A phone call at midnight…… she understood from a low voiced tensed conversation that a breakdown had stopped the production of the whole unit.
Nobody was prepared to take the responsibility. Blame game started as usual. Management was upset as it was a repeated incident. Everybody tried to play a safe game. A recently transferred young manager sought some time from the management. He took everyone in his team : engineers from production, utility, electrical, R&D departments and members of commercial and IR departments. Workers, fitters, electricians, foreman were also engaged.
” We have to start the machine. We have to find out the fault and we will fix it collectively. ” Initially, everyone out rightly rejected him. He did not leave hope. He talked to everyone. He tried to understand their problem, their view points. He tried to alleviate their fear, frustration. . He knew that team work was the only way out.
Materials department started arranging the spare parts. Maintenance manager talked to the supplier for speedy delivery. Chief engineer talked to Electricity Board. Maintenance & engineering team started the job on the machine. Internal tussle between various departments had begun to disappear. Slowly, slowly a sense of responsibility started growing. Concept of working in a team for common goal got momentum.. Electricians were changing belts, maintenance team was dismantling motors, production people were helping with various jobs…… department boundary disappeared. Production started within 7 days . Everyone was feeling a sense of accomplishment. It was just the beginning of new journey. The whole team witnessed a sea change. Management became happy , approved a massive shifting and erection plan. Later everyone was surprised that such a complex work was completed within 6 months.
Sandeep shared this story only to her. She was the witness of his over worked mental pain, his will power and the support ultimately he got from the team and that too within the two months of transfer to that unit. Her husband never hankered after publicity. Would she share this story? Yes, for Sandeep’s soul as a case study. Tears rolled down her cheeks. But with whom ? Samir? Why not? A friend of her late husband & her, works in a large production unit.…….Swati was thinking…..Then the known voice from drawing room startled her - Swatima ,one cup more …..