Adventures in Dhaka

It’s now third week in Dhaka and I have settled down well.

Last week, I decided to venture out in the city to kill my boredom. I visited some historical places viz. Lalbaug fort, Dhakeshwari temple, Ahsan Manzil in old Dhaka. Driving on roads in Dhaka is a horrifying experience. I had taken a CNG (auto rickshaw). For me it resembled like a bird cage. The driver was driving recklessly and talking to me in Bengali. It was only at end of journey that I somehow communicated that I don’t knew Bengali and in turn learnt that he  didn’t knew Hindi. During the journey, I was too afraid to talk to him after seeing the manner in which he was driving.

I was bit disappointed as the monuments were not that great. Also I learnt one major lesson that one most not rely fully on technology. While going to through streets, I was using Google Maps and it did not work on the way to Ahsan Manzil. Many of the places on the map, I was not able to locate and as a result, I was lost. I did not make any attempt to talk to anyone on the way, as I never wanted to give hint to anyone that I was a foreigner. Also, the documentary that I had watched on Discovery Channel (can’t recollect the name) few years back, kept the fear alive and prevented me to interact with anyone.  After going round and round through bylanes for about 30 min, finally I managed to find the monument only to my surprise that it was closed on account of weekly holiday.

Based on this experience, I have made my mind that I will stay indoors and prepare for the last two modules of my Supply Chain Management Diploma which I planning to appear on my visit to India in December 2014.

On assignment, I have made the progress. After using ADP tools such as VoC, IPO etc, I have completed conducting interviews in department that are involved in relief operation. The process map is in place for different sector such as operations, health, procurement and finance. The organogram for the Emergency Response is in place with roles and responsibilities identified.  SOP is in the draft stage with procedure in place for the process that has been mapped. Next stage would be to get it reviewed through the disaster management manager at Friendship and keep improving response process so that the process is LEAN and not bureaucratic.

There is a Shelter Workshop organized by Friendship from 20th to 24th Nov in Gaibandha district and I have got the opportunity to attend the same. This will provide me the opportunity to conduct GEMBA at field level, conduct interviews of field officers and see the ‘Chars’ which get impacted by floods every year.

Also, one good news! Cheryl Williamson another Pulse Volunteer from US who will be working with Marie Stopes, Dhaka has joined me. So in the evening, there is someone to talk to.. talk about GSK.. talk about politics… exchange views on respective countries etc.

Fort constructed by Aurangzeb's son the construction of which was left incomplete
Fort constructed by Aurangzeb’s son the construction of which was left incomplete

Lalbaug fortBoats at Wharf at Buriganga riverOne of the gates at Lalbaug fort

Organogram prepared from the mapped process (Draft)
Organogram prepared from the mapped process (Draft)


  1. Hi Sachin, It is intresting to read , how you went site seeing with the reckless driver not knowing where you wanted to go. Both have exchanged their ideas in their own languages, thinking they understand. How interesting it is ?
    It is good that you have met a buddy PULSE mate to share day to day incidents.

  2. I learnt few words like ‘joben’ which means will you go?… Then just mentioned Lalbaug killa and teensho taka.. This was all for going to destination.. The driver kept asking many things to which I just kept saying ‘haan’ and talking lot of stuff which I never understood.

  3. Thanks for sharing your latest experiences Sachin. I’m very impressed by your use of ADP on assignment – please continue to keep us updated on how you are using this, as there are many people in GSK who are asking the PULSE team about how our volunteers are using ADP this year. I hope the visit to Gaibandha goes well – look forward to hearing about it.

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