Monday, September 27, 2021
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A dummy’s guide on what to expect at government offices

Have you ever visited a government office to get some work done? Be it a passport office, ration shop, electricity office or for getting some licence renewed, here are some of the stages that you’ll have to go through.

The false hope: You have this hope that your day is going to be good in the morning. You think you are going to the government office to get the work done in an hour or two. You may also think that maybe you can get the work done early and visit the mall or the cinema hall and spend the next half of the day chilling. But sadly, that hope crumbles soon.

Wastage of paper: You walk into the government office and the first thing you notice are huge piles of paper or files everywhere. Piles as high as 10-storey buildings! Didn’t India go digital? Shouldn’t most of the tasks be done online?

 Circle of counters: You ask for directions to the department you have to reach and the reply you receive is “it’s on the third floor. Then you take the right turn, then the first left and then look for the water cooler. Hidden behind it is the department”. And then, you are thrown out from one counter to another.

   Unending queues: When you finally manage to find where you need to be, you see huge queues everywhere. When you actually get to the counter you’ll be told, “It’s the same line. Because it is so long, it just appears like there are multiple lines.” Now by the time you find the end of the line, the queue has already grown too long.

Multiple forms: You somehow stand in that line and walk to the end, that is the counter. Behind that counter is the man who bombards you with several questions and lists a number of forms you haven’t filled in. You stand right at the counter and fill in those forms while the people in the queue grumble at you for taking their time. Even after you fill in those forms and submit them at the counter, he will still find faults and take more time. You are finally shoved out of the line and you go sit on a bench and refill the forms.

Lunch break: You furnish every detail and somehow make it to the counter again. And just when you reach there, the clerk behind the counter puts up an old wooden signboard reading ‘Lunch Break’.

   Last attempt: After the lunch break, you hurry back to the counter but see they have stopped accepting the forms for the day and shut the windows. You call up your parents and try to talk to the officials to accept your application but in vain. Finally you are left with no other option but to return the next day.


(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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