September 24

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A month gone by

Hi all. It has been over a month now that I have been here with Society for Child Development. This journey has been swift, coupled with many new learning and insights.

New Delhi… life here is fast, dynamic and full of excitement. After being here for over a month now, I have reconciled myself to the new atmosphere and surroundings. A run-of-a-mill everyday from one end of the city to the other has given me ample time to look around at the world. I travel mostly by Delhi –Metro and must appreciate the brains and hands behind its successful operation for last 10 years. It has become a lifeline of Delhi. With an average of 23 lakhs foot fall at metro station every day, catering to the services is definitely a herculean task. It is the only metro service in the world to run on operating profit. I guess we owe this to our population here. Over-growth is not always harmful..eh?

In the month gone by, I had an opportunity to meet another Pulse Volunteer, Clara Marr. She is here from UK and working with CARE India. Her project is on Black Fever (Kala Jwar) illness in Bihar region. I would like to share here with you all that the project on which Clara had been working in the past, medicine for patients suffering from AIDS, has been given an approval by FDA. It was also there on our GSK portal. It was really a nice experience meeting Clara.

With Society for Child Development, last month was very hectic and demanding. We received an order from Wal-Mart for producing about 1.5 lakhs tea lights (diyas) and about 50 thousand decorative plates for Deepawali (an Indian Festival). If you happen to buy some of those at a near-by retail shop, do appreciate the efforts put in by the people here. They have been burning both ends of the candle to deliver these products on time.

My life too was on a roller-coaster ride for last one month. With a stringent timeline to deliver the product, SFCD staff gave me the required time to help me have a better understanding of the process here. Any system here, as I shared with you before, never existed. On some days, there used to be such a chaos that staff here would spend most of the time digging up or clarifying old issues.

After getting a feel of the situation, I shared few ideas with the team which were readily accepted and implemented. It gave me a boost as well. Since then, I have been working to simplify and standardize operations without disquieting their work style. Till now I have made SOPs for their work culture and an operational manual for the NGO. All these are now in their implementation phase.

I am also giving training to the staff here. Training is primarily on SOPs that have been made with their inputs so that a robust system could be built which would then be carried forth. Also I have been asked to cover few specific topics by Dr. Puri (Director of the NGO). These topics are about problem solving tools, customer relationship management and handling customer complaints. Given the fact that the educational level of the staff here is not very high, I tried to stick to the basics till it sinks in. I am already seeing some remarkable changes in the attitude and ways of working of people here.

Now, I am beginning to feel that the time is running out and I have yet to accomplish many things. I am hopeful that I will be able to implement few more ideas and see the change settling here in times to come.

I will bring to you some more updates, but later…