Trying for a world record
Trying for a world record: all GOVT servants to have email id
When I was Collector of Sivaganga district in 2003, another Collector, Mr.Sudeep Jain, IAS of Nagapattinam district had established a Guinness record: planting the maximum number of trees in one day! (Of course this record was further broken by Ms.Supriya Sahu IAS, another TN cadre officer a few years later, when she was posted in the Nilgiris)
Inspired by this, I too wanted a Guinness record…. And I told my people, if we font get a Guinness record, it will at least be in the Limca book of records, or it can at least be a Sivaganga record. I thought hard… what could be an innovative thing to do? Then I hit upon this idea: that every Government servant in Sivaganga district, irrespective of his or her rank will learn and use emails as a form of communication.
All hell broke lose! The Office bearers so the Sivaganga district Browsing centers association met me and informed me of the difficulties they were facing on a daily basis as all kinds of Government servants were thronging their centers because Collector had issued this fatwa! I could understand fro their conversation that they smelled a good business opportunity at this! They were asking me if I can pay from the Government side for teaching all Government staff computers and Internet, and that they would share the business! I had to disappoint them saying that my wish was that the Government servant had to learn it on his own volition! I couldn’t say that there was no way that Government could fund this crazy idea!
Be that as it may be: I was transferred suddenly, after about 8 months on a very contentious issue of the Kandadevi temple chariot procession. The day I got the transfer order, in the next couple of hours we packed up and by evening we were on our way to Chennai, as I was put on compulsory wait…
When I reached Chennai and for lack of work was browsing al the time….and… I was pleasantly surprised to see a mail…and that from my driver Subbhaia in broken English…expressing his anguish at my transfer…