Thursday, 28 November 2013

A Pair of Eyes...

..Story of Grace and Gratitude.

In continuation of periodically bringing to you the  stories of real people who make a difference, and inspire, here is one about a young IAS officer from the Odisha cadre.

All of us are often subjected  to innumerable 'eyes watching us'. The eyes of suspicion, the eyes of expectations, the eyes of fear, the eyes of despair, even the eyes of disbelief! But when a pair of eyes look up to you with gratitude, some magic occurs.

Read on the story, in her own words, from Usha Padhee..

Usha Padhee

This story of my life seems like dream but true.

In 1998, I was working as Sub-Collector in Baliguda, Sub-Division of Kandhamal district, Odisha. As a young administrator I used to travel a lot and interact with locals. One day in a village I encountered with a poor old man who was almost blind due to cataract. I explained him about the free facilities extended by the Government for eye operation. He expressed his inability to reach district Head Quarter which was around 80 KM away. Also may be he had no money or relative to accompany. As a routine gesture I informed him that when I go for the meeting at district Head Quarter next week, I can take him along to drop at district hospital for which he agreed. Subsequent week I dropped him at district hospital with an instruction that after operation he should be sent back to the village.
 May be, after three months or so, during one of my grievance-redressal days, my personal secretary informed me about a man standing near my door, refusing to come in for any grievance, but wanting only to see me when I leave my office!
 He stayed on till I was ready to leave my office. I cannot forget, outside my office, the man standing was that old man whom I had taken for cataract operation. A pair of eyes just watched me, as I came out of the office. He raised his both hands, blessing me, and said that when I took him to the hospital he was not able to see me. He had come just to see the person who had helped him, as he could see me now!

At that point of time it was just an insignificant incident, though, I was amazed by the thankfulness of the old man. But I felt the impact of this incident later. Whenever I remember this, invariably I feel so humbled by the gratitude expressed by the old man. It was part of my duty and I received so much of warmth for something I felt was so routine a task. A small act, bringing some happiness to other person, brings so much of satisfaction and sense of fulfilling. I always felt I have received the love in leaps and bounds compared to the action of mine. It reaffirms my belief that all good you do comes back to you exponentially. When I feel any unfairness or selfishness around me, I remember the pair of eyes which give me assurance that these trivial things do not matter when you do something good, as it will bring happiness to someone, somewhere…….

Please leave behind your comments, as you may also like to recommend 'India I Care' movement in your circle of influence by connecting them with such stories.

D I L I P  P A T E L
for IIC Team

Monday, 25 November 2013

IAS and India I Care - Batch 13

When the bureaucrats decide to change....

T H E R E  I S  H O P E.

Hum Honge Kamayaab... We shall succeed.

13th batch of IAS ( Indian Administrative Service) officers, along with select Civil Service Officers from the Prime Minister's office of Uganda just  concluded their training program on Ethics in Governance on 22nd November, 2013 at Asia Plateau, Panchgani, Maharashtra, India, the International center for training and reconciliation of Initiatives of Change.

The 'India I Care' session was received by one and all with a great sense of responsibility, and positive commitments. The Ugandan team even went back with the thoughts of initiating 'Uganda I Care'!!

The decisions the officers took for initiating a change at their personal level for their personal as well as professional life are highly commendable.

Sincere as they are, the decisions are worth emulating by any sensible citizen of the country.

We are reproducing them here with a hope that they will inspire all the followers of this site/blog.

Decisions shared in writing by IAS officers and Uganda’s civil servants
In the concluding session of the 13th program on Ethics for Public Governance
At Asia Plateau, Panchgani on 22nd November, 2013

Initiatives of Change in Professional Life

• Saying sorry to my workmates for the time I have been impatient & when I have not listened to their side of the story
• To solve problems by looking at my own failures first

• Firstly I want to reach that decision that I have to make a change and embrace something that means more to me than sit behind a desk and contribute to what doesn’t fully resonate with my heart
• Perhaps in 1 year I should have made that change. I trust God to lead me there

• I’ll try and talk to my colleagues and subordinates regarding inner change experience • No more anger/anguish
• I’ll reach office on time and come out on time
• I will muster courage to speak out and no more hiding from myself

• Deal with subordinates with love and affection • Don’t lose temper
• Be punctual
• Save electricity and water

• Maintain cleanliness
• Think how unreached can be reached

• Balance work with family
• Start the journey of finding out my purpose in life
• Teach my family to have a quiet time & always pray with them & take them to a Protestant fellowship
• Practice soul nurture
• Do exercises

• Sense of urgency and doing something positive even if it is not expected of my official duty
• Better listener
• Punctuality
• Will make promises after clearly weighing out all factors
• Will develop habit to speak less and only necessary on phone

The Voice of My Heart (for Work Life)
• Be a better listener
• To respect dignity of colleagues in all situations
• Not to be harsh on members of my team and even clients in the system (though I’ll not perpetrate corruption nor tolerate corrupt)
• Try to stop “I, Me and Myself” in giving examples

• Will try to use my authority to bring out a model for environmental-friendly development
• Will employ modern technology to eliminate corruption and also by teaching the importance of values
• Will employ the new technique learnt from here to change the work culture of my department

• I tend to get impatient and often angry with colleagues and subordinates who do not meet my expectations. It scares some away and makes them not get confidence to even put their differing points of view across
• I undertake to encourage colleagues and subordinates to give their points of view and to give each more chances even when my expectations are not met

To treat my staff/subordinates more gently even if they make a mistake

• I will be more patient with my staff in the office
• I will try to understand their family problems affecting their work output

• To be patient and supportive to the offices and staff at workplace
• To show more sincerity towards achieving objectives no matter how much it takes
• To be more open and frank with my superiors

I would like to change my attitude towards the guaranteed things which I assume actually which are not in my home and sphere of work

• Don’t angry on subordinate when they do mistakes without knowing it
• Be punctual for the meetings
• Allow the subordinates new ideas for the welfare of the institution

I would try to be a little softer with my staff & my subordinate. Try to punish them less but try to correct them

• Be a better person to work with
• Try to bring the ethics of moral values in all spheres of activities in my office & among my team
• Spread generosity
• Taking the managers to Mass, thro’ my area of influence

• My work should keep me to fulfil my Purpose
• Acting ethically will give meaning to my job and everyone I serve will trust what I do
• This will be the beginning of change in my life and the life of others who see me/ those I serve/ greater society

• Don’t always grumble about ineffectiveness of others
• Relax, you can’t work for everyone. Do the best you can and be happy
• Raise your voice against wrong
• Forgive those who are rude – as they know not what they are doing

• Silence before meetings in the office
• Use different methods to relay messages to society, like songs, drama, stickers, stories, etc.
• Talk to the youth more intimately

Not waver when I am sure the decision that I made was true and based on principles

• The inner side of me which I had covered would be allowed to surface and would definitely motivate people however crooked to do at least little good things
• One inspirational video before a meeting

• Take care of the environment
• Honesty in doing work re-emphasising the values of my organisation and making sure they are followed

I will try all efforts to convince the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda to come for the conference on democracy in January and endeavour to persuade him from being too to his staff but take on team spirit of work for workplace harmony

• Being a better team player
• Coaching and mentoring those below me on subject of purpose driven life and living ethical lives
• Improving the image of the organization through advocacy for ethical governance practices

• Sharing the knowledge and experiences learned from MRA-Iofc training programmes, and encouraging the organisation team members to undertake the same training there

• The society should become more democratic in every sphere of life and work. Everybody should have the right to education and information so as to make a better choice in life and more meaningful purpose in life

• Teach the values I learned during the course to officers / probationers in my training institute
• Be more open to the stakeholders- clients to whom we serve
• More helpful to colleagues, subordinates
                                                      • Motivate fellow officers to attend this course at least once

And here are the decisions for personal life:

Decisions shared in writing by IAS officers and Uganda’s civil servants In the concluding session of the 13th program on Ethics for Public Governance At Asia Plateau, Panchgani on 22nd November, 2013
Initiatives of Change in Personal Life

My first step will be to make peace with my wife whom I have repeatedly wronged without apology
and create time with her and the family despite the busy schedule. I will also teach and encourage her
to jointly take quiet time every morning before going to work.
 I will strive to change from Arrogance to Humility in the rest of my life.
 The voice of my heart
• to respect emotions of others in family and be polite to each of them
• to sacrifice some of my personal pursuits for liked by ‘loved ones’
• not to impose my ideas on others while making a point
• to listen to others more than before
 As widely as possible to use the word sorry in relationships
• Reconcile and reorient my relationship with Daddy
• Learn to be more comfortable in my skin – working on my feelings of inadequacies
• Put myself in the other person’s shoes before I speak something (that is harsh)

• Change my nature- less revengeful – more compassionate
• Be more extrovert- open up to society
• Give more time to family/parents
• Go back to my village at least twice in a year – to do some social work
• Buy only what is needed
• Translate the desire to accumulate to the joy of giving
• Spend 10 minutes to hear the inner voice
• Never lose temper - however difficult the situation may be – it shall pass
• Listening to my Inner Voice
• Living honesty
• Stop the blame game and know that you can also effect change
• Need to forgive many people and let it out completely
• Redefining my purpose in life
• Forgiveness and reconstruction of relations at work that have been broken
• Listening more than talking and practicing the quiet time ideology
• Starting on the journey to be ethical in the transactions I do

• I will no more blame and complain
• I will not gossip and not criticize anybody on his/her back
• I will try to bring in more harmony in personal relationships
• I will save fuel by pooling in vehicles
• I’m going to work on the purpose of my life
• I will not waste time for pleasure/entertainment
• I need to re-discover myself and identify those gaps that make it difficult to be the change I want to see
• This I will do through Quiet Listening and obeying to my Inner Voice
• I have realised that life without a purpose is like a boat without a compass direction, it can end up hitting a rock
• I should be more patient with myself and others. I tend to want too much perfection and rarely stop to listen to the inner voice that will aid me to this perfection or even accept what is not possible
• I undertake to create more time for myself and listen often to the inner voice and to my heart

• To be a better family member and with more smile
• More time to teach my son
• Bring love and care in abundance
• Utilize all free time to pursue the purpose. Explore the unknown interested areas!
• Focus only on core issues
Spend time with family hear the spouse, children and relative voice
Do care of yourself 
Eat on time / do exercise
Attend relatives functions share your presence
Shed my complacency
Be truthful to all
Will not hurt others
From now on I will search for the purpose of my life
To be more understanding and patient with my family
To be supportive to members of my family with Love and Care
Most importantly to share with my family the knowledge enriched from Asia Plateau with a view to achieve positive things in family, society and the country as a whole

Little bit writing about thoughts occurring in my mind
Will develop habit of looking for opportunities to do act of kindness and generosity
• I will try to be more calm in future – putting a control on my mind
• I will try to be more natural in my attitude and behaviour
• I will give more time to my family members
 I’d give more time to myself both for my physical health and nourishing my soul
Be nice to everyone
Care and love for all
Keep environment clean
Save water and electricity
Save food
Think for 10 min in silence early morning
Stop being arrogant to subordinates
Stop being outspoken without intending to hurt any person
I would, even if I don’t agree that another person is right, try and apologize & get over the grudge I
don’t want to carry it forward

Adopt quiet time magic
Be the change I want to see in my society through better character and actions
To care for the environment in a better manner – keep it clean and plant more trees
To listen to my inner voice for at least 15 minutes in the morning (Quiet Time)
The officers at work place should be made to realise to work professionally and discharge their duty
with devotion rather than simply attending the office for a salary. 
They should also be an agent for change in the ‘chalta hai’ office culture
Through listening to my inner voice, I look forward to getting more insights into how to better
take care of my surroundings

A new DAWN at Table Land, Panchgani

So, dive deep into life and grab the above pearls of wisdom, and see where they could be meaningful to your life too.

D I L I P  P A T E L
For IIC Team