Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why we complaint about our Broadband services??
In Tala village we are always the first to complain about Broadband services provided by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, a Govt of India owned company. Sometimes we have to send the email to highest authority in the state and believe it or not it works. I have no idea whether this email reaches to concerned person or not but I often get a phone call from his office asking about our Broadband. Again I have n idea whether he knows the importance of this broadband in this village or not but for the locals living here it has become an important part of their livelihood.
Let me tell you first about Tala village.
Tala is situated near main entrance gate of Bandhavgarh National Park and this gate got it's name Tala only becauseit's in close vicinty of Tala village.
Why Broadband is so Important here??
100 % population of Tala village survives on jobs created by Tourism Industry. Hoteliers needs Broadband for all their reservations and communication with their clients and agents and mainly for booking of Online Park entry. Guides, Drivers and Tourists uses broadband to look on Facebook or some other site for the latest news of the park. Instead of asking 50 different people about the park news it's quicker to look at Facebook or on some other social site about Tiger sightings of the day. Some people or so obsessed that they put the picture within an hour coming out of the park.
 Forest department does all his Park entries online so without broadband sometimes park opens late or tourists looses their valuable time waiting at booking window. Every minute waiting at the gate cost Rs 15.54 for an Indian and for foreigner it's Rs 25.83. If broadband services are out of order in the evening then many tourists can,t get their entry online and they lose out the morning safari some time.
Many people like me are 100% dependent on Broadband for our survival. I need to send my pictures to different agencies and Kay my wife updates Bandhavgarh Diary every day on tigernation.org. For us Broadband has become an essential thing in our life. It's like an office key. Without Broadband our office doesn't get open and we looses day's work.
I will say that our country did not invented this technology but as far as the users are concerns they are growing day by day. We are running this system on a borrowed technology in this country. We may have the latest equipments but we are failed to make a good use of them.
Why and where we are lacking in it??
We are lacking because of our mentality of Chalta he. Our technicians don't check the system regularly. They know about the fault in their own office only when someone complaints. It's laziness only because of the Job Security.
I often wonder that how come a person becomes more efficient while working in private company??
 Because there they are answerable to someone.
So they should be here. Are they not??
Why we could not develop that culture in our Govt departments??
I can't answer this question. I am failed to understand the mentality of these people.
 Probably this country has produced too many white collared workers??
So the internet in village Tala today (31st July 2012)is still out of order since last 26 hours.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Leh Laddakh and Dharamshala.

I left Tala in mid June to lead a Tour of Photographers visiting Leh Laddakh. I was really nervous about this tour as how my body will cope with this high altitude situation. You don't want to be sick while leading a tour.
On our first day in Delhi we visited Jama Masjid. Group had some really nice pictures from that visit. Other places that were visited in Delhi were spice market, Humayun's Tomb,Lotus Temple and a Shanti town for some nice colourful doors and wall paintings.
Flight to Leh gives you an idea about the topography of the area. Snow capped mountain peak and snaky village trails looks nice from that height.
We stayed at Hotel Mansarovar. Free WI FI in reception area was a great relief for many guests staying there. Taste wise food was always good but sometimes they serve a pretty odd menu. many of the small Hotels in India are managed by non-professionals who had no idea of anything related to Catering and Housekeeping. Owner at Mansarovar is very helpful and courteous gentleman. He helped us a lot even some time going out of his way. That's the beauty of these people. While camping once we were served Omelet with Pan cake and no Toast or bread. Although this was a different caterer. When you are camping just don't go to look in to the kitchen or the place where they wash utensils.

One of our friend told us that he stopped his tour to Laddakh only because the services were not up to the standard or he was cheated for every service. We had the same problem. We should have had the cars for our entire trip means group could use cars for entire day but a simple de tour may cost you extra half day charge if you are not careful. It was very frustrating. I will suggest people to do some homework on Google and support the local people who provide accommodation in their houses. I think that accommodation will be better than camping. these houses have electricity so easy to charge your batteries. I did this while camping and offered them Rs 50 for each camera and laptop battery and twenty for mobile phone. That was a fantastic arrangement at Hemis and Kurzok village. I am always in favor to support the locals in Tourism.With more support they will be able to provide better facilities to you on your next visit. In Ladakh it's better to have a solar panel for charging your battery. In-fact taxi drivers can do this easily for extra income if they fit a solar panel at car roof and batteries are charged while travelling. 

Most of the Hotels, except Mansarovar in Leh, I stayed were run by most inefficient owners. I always found Housekeeping and service in dining hall little poor. 
When you are visiting these monasteries keep looking for wall paintings. They are superb.
In one of the monastery when me and Jeremy were photographing prayer none of our camera could record the video. God knows what mistake we were doing??  It happened with me twice.
After Ladakh we went to Dharamshala to see His Holiness Dalai Lama's birthday celebration. None of the tourists were allowed to go with camera or any other electronic gadget. I applied for photographers pass. They asked me to show my published work? It was difficult. 
His Holiness Dalai Lama shook hand with every person who came across to him that day. I also got the chance.  
I should have wrote my diary everyday but I was never in a good mood of doing so due to my physical fitness. I was always in pain and worried about my own health. I had to go to doctor thrice in this tour. Now all those things are in my head but words are not coming through. Sorry for that.