An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Friday, December 16, 2005

News round-up: Dec. 17

1. Safety and BPO sector

The kidnap and murder of Prathiba is a deplorable incident (see link below).

However, a staff reporter at The Hindu tries to use this incident to hype up the dangers of working at a BPO company. This is not unexpected: the reds have a GodMarx-given inclination to derail (in the guise of questioning) any venture that moves India forward from its overly-regulated-licence-permit-raj-characterised-by-rife-unemployment economy. (See the same tactic used in another area - Privatising airports- but I digress)

Beginning with a poorly-worded sentence (see below) that seems to promise plenty of juicy questions, the reporter gives an account of the gruesome kidnap and murder, and then finishes with what are perfectly sensible policies followed by the company involved.

The opening statement: The chilling details of how a criminal kidnapped and murdered call centre employee Prathiba have raised a number of questions with regard to safety in the time of business process outsourcing and the logistic challenges involved.

Link: Account of Murder

Now, what are the numerous questions, dear reporter? Can we have an inkling, at least? Let me try to finish your article, by providing some basic questions that I would ask as a parent, before sending my daughter/son to a BPO that works at night:

List of questions:
A. What are the safety policies/procedures governing:
1. transit to/from the workplace: e.g.
a. badges/uniforms for drivers/security-personnel?
b. seatbelts in vehicle?
c. conduct in the vehicle?
d. use of cell-phone while driving?
e. employees not allowed to stand in moving vehicle?
f. availability of escorts/security for walking from office to vehicle?
g. security personnel in the office vehicle?

2. at the office (campus): e.g.
a. the environs well-lit and patrolled by security personnel?
b. how can employees signal an emergency when inside the office, when on campus?
c. are there self-defence training classes provided to employees?
d. emergency contact information provided to/by employees for family, office, police?

B. Who is responsible for ensuring adherence to the safety procedures?
C. What is the safety track record of the company? (E.g., reported incidents of theft, harassment etc.)

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section.

Let us resolve that:

  • We will use this as an opportunity to improve the safety systems around us (wherever we work, wherever we play)! Safety is paramount!
  • We will not be manipulated by mainstream media (MSM)! (The Hindu article has a disgusting picture of MSM vultures are hovering around poor Prathiba's poor husband. Sickos, don't you have feelings?)
  • We will not get manipulated by political parties/unions into protest marches (against BPO's)!

  • More later.

    P.S.: I do not work for or invest in any BPO.

    2. Sports and Politics:

    Ganguly Issue and the Lok Sabha

    Excerpts: Mohan Singh (Samajwadi Party) wanted a discussion on the manner in which Ganguly was dropped. He lamented politicisation of sports in general and cricket in particular and said this trend would demoralise good players.

    In Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said Ganguly's exclusion was an insult to the player "as well to all of us." The decision was "unjust." He said he had told Mr. Pawar that none could accept it. "Let's see what happens."

    Someone please explain to me how a discussion of Ganguly's sacking by our esteemed MP's (who are the quintessence of politicking) does not contribute to further politicisation of sports!

    When communists such as Buddhadeb are hovering over the issue, be sure that the issue will not go away soon.

    Excerpt from The Hindu:
    Bengal Protests

    Protests continued across the city and suburbs for the third successive day against the former captain's exclusion from the team. Suburban trains were disrupted at several places in the Sealdah section of the Eastern Railway. Roadblocks led to traffic diversions at several places.

    I support Pawar's comment:

    Excerpt: "If people start using Parliament to say who should be in the team, it would cause irreparable damage to cricket and cricketers."

    Taking this a little further, can you have people using the Parliament to say who should be in your (private) company, because it could cause irreparable damage to your company and it's employees? Of course not. Then why do we encourage discussions on reservations in private sector companies? What's next, the government dictating who you should marry, in the interests of "communal/caste harmony?"


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