Express Management 101

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory- George S. Patton

It’s not very easy to write about my journey on-board science express. My colleague, Rituja, has helped me by offering few question- “Sir, you can give your sharing on these questions, i.e. Challenges to a manager?  Challenges with communicators? Challenges with VIPs?”

Every day, with so many things happening, neither by invalidating nor proving right or wrong, and remaining a witness, feeling responsible, and feeling like I am involved in the cause in all matters on-board, is a unique experience. Where I do not know what drama or play is waiting for us to act on, to deal with an out of order situation, and having limited but powerful resources to encounter these issues, whatsoever challenges come in our ways, undoubtedly, the focus remains. The ultimate focus for me is to take every one in a single caravan to change the climate in this edition.

For me, it is important to maintain the harmony at all levels having all team members, core exhibition groups and support staff works in one loop where integrity lies in the centre which enhances their work efficiency.

In my words, I feel happy when I see communicators trying new approach and innovative ways of presenting content with appropriate stock of words, dialogues and applying sense of humor. They show presence of mind with factual detailed knowledge on topics that really creates a positive aura where not only do they enjoy but their experience reaches a new level where they cannot express their happiness by words. That can only be owned.

I understood that when the communicators urged me to stand by their side for everything, it is not only their feelings, but their indirect love and care for me.

Speaking on VIP’s part, it is something very difficult because it seems that most of the time they have been nicely conducted throughout the exhibition by the team, speaking good things about the project. It impresses me when they share their time on work done for societies’ benefits and development which creates a difference. In my view, their self expression speaks more than words.

Interestingly, I found that all my teammates wanted to see me acting above all hurdles and ups & downs. That is my real energy source. Science express drives me through with all of this which remains the secret of my survival here.

So one in all, Science Express has remained kind to me in all my avenues of learning.

Raghav Pandya- As shared with the SECAS Blog Team: Nitin, Yasha and Ritu!

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(Raghav Sir has been the backbone of the SECAS. Being a manager and an on-board member, he has kept the integrity among the team. Devouring sweets and encouraging us from time to time, he has been more of a mentor and a trainer for us than a manager. His brisk walking has proven a great challenge for many a tall people to put up with! Raghav Sir has let us cherish our hobbies and taught us to love the train by preaching what he teaches.)

For the ball is in our courts

One of the major critical impacts of plastics on environment is when animals such as cattle swallow it for food. It remains unprocessed in their rumen, leading to fatalities. I witnessed one such sight in Hapa when we were having our breakfast outside the deserted station. A cow was chewing an empty plastic bag. I was sitting with my colleague, Sagar W. and he too agreed that it was sad seeing those animals eating the polythene.

On board, in our train, we implore people to not use the thin plastic bags, the ones lesser than 20 microns. I wonder how much of what we say is really heard and done. However, this was not a time to feel dejected. It was the time to act upon all those advice we have given to people for the past seven months. We showed the poor animal to the Chaiwala Bhaiyya. I explained to him in the simplest manner what happens when a cow or any other animal swallows a plastic bag. He seemed to ponder upon on what I said. Then in despair, he asks, “Ben, then what solution do you propose? What is it that I can do to not let this happen?”

We looked at each other for some seconds and then we spoke up. We told him that if we properly dispose of the plastic garbage in dustbins instead of letting them lay in open heaps, it wouldn’t be much of an open invitation to those animals. We then went on explaining how this could also be a solution to the insanitary conditions in India.

What he did next brought tears to my eyes!

He set the kettle of tea aside from the flame, got down the dais and bent down to pick up all the littered discarded milk packets. He collected them all and dumped them in the large garbage bin. After washing and wiping his hands with a kerchief, he went on boiling and making tea.

I guess, our role in this national and global revolutions is much more than just communicating. It is reaching out towards the grass-root and connecting with them. It is stating the problem and giving simple solutions. It is being an integral part of real India and not just clapping on seeing some sentimental documentary. Because in the end it is not at all about sympathy but all about empathy.

Bhawna Jain: As shared with the SECAS Blog Team: Nitin, Yashashree and Ritu!

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(Bhawna is a bubbly girl from Delhi who has completed her Masters in Chemistry. A hard core Vegetarian, she can be seen asking at the hotel reception, “Bhaiyya, yahan non-veg toh milta hai na?” On getting a positive response, she turns on her heels with, “Toh yahan main nahi kha sakti!” She also occasionally cooks in the buffer zone, spreading aroma around the coach much to the envy of other communicators who for the time being are just some other hungry people. 😉

Sporting a strong and unwavering personality, she has a streak of sticking to what she believes in and going after everything she can accomplish.)