In this modern age of digitization, we often fail to appreciate the people around us who are making our lives easier on a day-to-day basis. We have often looked down on them and find them being disrespected for their supposedly menial work.
To erase the boundaries between our illusions and the reality, the team at #TEDxMNITJaipur set out on a general survey. The first person we talked to was a guard at MNIT. He was very open-minded and jovial, contrary to what people usually assume. He pointed out the shortcomings in the existing system by recalling his experiences in the 3 years that he worked in this college. He felt that he and his coworkers were not given enough importance by the higher authorities and students alike. After walking out of the guard’s room, we caught an auto-rickshaw and struck a conversation with the driver who surprised us by saying that he was extremely content with his job. When asked about the apps offering taxi services, he was quite indifferent towards the same as he believed that he was more profitable than them in this locality anyway. He cited that demonetization and fluctuating prices as his major hurdles. We then coaxed him into revealing any bad experiences that he might have had with rude customers, to which he went oddly mute. Then he dropped us off to a posh, upscale restaurant where we stopped by to have a chat with the waiters but we were met with the angry glances and constant interruptions of the manager thus highlighting that the waiters are not being given a voice. Our next stop in this journey was a petrol pump where the employees had much to say. They complained that their qualifications had not fetched them government jobs as they had been promised and how they are always ridiculed for the work they do and their low wages. Our final destination was the paan vendor who seemed quite convinced that the online market could never replace him. His financial troubles made him compromise with his morals by promoting the sale of harmful products.
This brought us to the end of a long evening, which shattered several myths.
We are quick to judge people based on an overwhelming number of parameters yet it took just one evening with some stimulating conversations to bridge the gap that we had formed in our minds.