Thursday, January 7, 2010

Big events are not for small... err common people!


If you have come to know about the 2010 Auto Expo recently through newspapers or friends and you get excited about it and want to have a look at the cars over there... then wait! If you take your spouse and kids and head over to Pragati Maidan thinking that you will get down from the metro or your car and you will get a red carpet welcome at Auto Expo then you surely are wandering in the fantasy world. It is far from truth, almost opposite. The probability is when you reach to the ticket booth after much of the struggle, the personnel over there will happily tell you that today is not a day for the regular visitors, it is meant for business people only. You then argue that it is mentioned everywhere that the later half of the day is for regular visitors, to which he politely disagree or plead his ignorance for the same, saying “that is the information we have, sir!”
Ridiculous! I am amazed to see the people who make these events popular(common people) are the ones that are left entirely unattended. I am frustrated because I wasted my whole day in the pursuit of the joy of watching my favourite brands at the Auto Expo and at the end of the day, I was left entirely disappointed.
We, the people with access to medium like internet are considered more informed then others because they can get the information about almost anything that they want, but with our country and society, things are not that straight.
I checked the information about the Auto Expo 2010 well on time on various sites including the official www.autoexpo.in and the sites like delhievents.com. It was clearly mentioned that 5th and 6th are the media days (and the media are happy!) while 7th and 8th are half business (from 10am to 3pm) and half regular days (3pm to 7pm). And the tickets are prized at Rs. 500 for business visitors and Rs. 200 for regular visitors. This clearly means that people going on 7th and 8th after 3pm should get the tickets at Rs. 200. But to my great disappointment as to many, the concerned persons at the ticket booths were selling the tickets at Rs.500 only. When asked they said that today is a business day. The most disappointing thing is that there is no one to clarify. There is not contact number on boards, none even on the website. After much surfing, I got a number of one of the organisers (Society of India Automobile Manufacturers) and tried to enquire about it from them but they were unable to help. On one number (011-24647812), I was told that the ticket prices are Rs.1500 for business and 500 for regular! Even I believed her once, then I called other number that she gave when I enquired more (011-23371147) and when I asked on this number to confirm the prices, she put me on hold for a while (no problem at all!) and told me that prices are 500 for business, 200 for regular and 50 for children. Then I asked her why I am unable to get the tickets at Rs.200, to which she said that this is not a ticket counter, I can’t help you on that matter anymore, and she hanged up the phone! Great!
It is quite sure that the organisers do not plan such events keeping the regular visitors in mind. How come, otherwise, there is not a single person appointed to solve the queries of the people? Why there is not a single helpline number given, which I believe should be made compulsory for such events.
The irony is that we are fighting for the Right to Information and the basic information is kept away from us! It is not the matter of money entirely, but the matter of giving importance to the common people. I saw, people were coming from far places and they were not getting the tickets! Even I myself went from Rohini, travelling more than an hour in crowded metro and then standing in the queues to get back into metro at Pragati Maidan station. Ticket counters were closed at 5pm (they were supposed to close at that time, but no such information is given on website or any of the boards!) and the people were still coming as the entry was till 7pm. It may not be a failure for the media and media people, who are given special importance and permissions, but for common people it is utter failure. Things like these prove again and again the condition of common men in the country, and I am talking about its capital, Delhi!
Jai hind!
--
Rahul

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