Last year when i tried to click a photograph inside a Delhi Metro station, i was immediately prevented by a security person and told that photography is prohibited in Metro stations. I understood. So, last week when i was standing on a Metro platform (i think it was Mayur Vihar I –where i was attending a Comics Workshop) i could see a big glow sign showing the picture of a 23-year old youngman who died due to oral cancer, but i resisted myself to take any snap.
However, next day while i was entering Nangloi Metro station i came across a similar glow signs showing the picture of that poor guy.
Through out my journey of one hour in Metro i kept on wondering why there is not a single pouch of Pan Masala, Gutkha, Khaini (smokeless forms of tobacco) nor any butts of used cigarettes and bidis — neither in the compartments nor in the station premises. Incidentally i did not see anybody munching such smokeless tobacco stuffs on board those Metro Stations.
Suddenly a thought struck me (wild imagination!) Delhi has stopped using all such stuff. No, it can’t be –looking at the roads and pavements strewn with spit outs and ‘killer’ pouches.
Then i thought that Metro has prescribed fines for everything — right from spitting to entering a ladies compartment. Could be the fear of having to pay fine might be acting as a deterrent.
When i was coming out of station, a Metro official was standing outside his office. I could not suppress my curiosity any longer. When i asked him what is the secret of so much cleanliness — particularly absence of pan masala, Gutkha pouches and no Paan Spitting (Betel-quid chewing), he told me that the rules related to fines which are strictly followed– these are not merely eye-wash. People are being routinely booked for all those offences listed on the Metro stations.
I realised that people follow rules if there is fear of being fined, fear of dying from a serious illness and if the message is coming to them repeatedly it works.
Many organisations need to follow Delhi Metro’s approach and need to learn quite a few important things from them. Hats off to that great man Shreedharan who created this marvel and gave India a beautiful gift ….long live Shreedharan!