Dr. HB Joshi
“Where have you brought us Papa? This place looks like a prison! Feels like committing suicide at a place like this! ” said my elder son, Rajen, irritatingly.
We had just arrived at the Galbabhai Dairy Co-operative Training Centre (GDCTC), Palanpur in 1989.
It was a place engulfed in utter solitude within the Banas Dairy campus. I had moved with my family from NDDB , Anand Campus on transfer to GDCTC. It was a total 180 degree change, very difficult for the kids to adjust !
It was extremely disturbing for me to hear such painful words that my son had uttered reacting to the prevailing atmosphere of the place which was to be my new place of work.
I tried to give him solace and talked of the “wonderful” ambience and how such a posting would help me develop professionally.
As matter of fact , I was used to living at such places. I had earlier spent five years at Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Project (SAGP), Bidaj Farm during 1981-85 .
SAGP Bidaj too was a secluded place as nothing would be available after 6 pm. Only two buses would ply for Ahmedabad each day stopping at Bidaj farm. A sleepy town, Bareja was around 9 km from Bidaj where medical services,etc were available.
Usually children request their parents to take them to play grounds, gardens or a bazar during the leisure time. However, children at SAGP Bidaj were more interested to see snakes in the nearby old well …it was a totally different ambience and it did have an impact on their psyche !
It was 1985 my destiny sparkled and I got a transfer from SAGP Bidaj to Anand and the children got a “paradise” to spend time and play around. Their time passed happily with a far superior modern campus with all the facilities and schooling in Anandalaya.
I was placed with the Manpower Development Group and Dr.SP Mittal was my boss. I also had a wonderful time with the change in my job profile. Now my job assignments were totally different from the assignments that I used to handle at Bidaj.
At Bidaj I worked at an exotic cattle farm where entry was guaranteed but not the exit !
A turning point in my career again came in 1989 when Galbabhai Dairy Cooperative Training Centre (GDCTC) , Palanpur (managed by NDDB) had a problem in finding an instructor who was fluent in Gujarati as the instructor over there was not well conversant with the local dialect !
Dr.Mittal asked me about my preference and also if I could I help him find any other suitable person in my place who could be sent to GDCTC. Dr. Mittal was fully aware that I had already worked for a fairly long tenure in a secluded place like Bidaj where children had also to face problems in education in the absence of a good school.
I did request a Gujrati veterinarian colleague to go to GDCTC, Palanpur instead of me. But he got very irritated as to why I was even suggesting his name!
In fact, NDDB campus was like a “paradise on earth” equipped with all the modern facilities. And no one was willing to sacrifice the same.
Ultimately, I gathered courage and in consultation with my wife who very reluctantly agreed, decided to move to GDCTC Palanpur.
I thought about my posting at GDCTC. It could be a place for my professional development. In addition I would be in-charge of the centre and have independence to work.
On the flip side there was every prospect of displeasing my family especially my kids.
However, it was a demand of the institution and one must prioritise actions carefully.
I approached Dr. Mittal and expressed my willingness to take up the job at GDCTC. I also told him that I would have no problems even if I am required to manage the centre for the next ten years! My statement flabbergasted my boss !
My thinking was agreed that GDCTC Palanpur was a lonely and underdeveloped place, however, I could get recognition by involving myself in many activities organised by the Banas Dairy besides managing the training centre.
I used to help Banas Dairy management in organising various functions and hosting events, arranging logistics,etc.
It was a place where I learnt lessons in communication, public relations and established my own identity !
Organising tree plantation, medical camps etc. were quite a novel initiatives then at Banas Dairy. I became a part of organising such events and the role I played pleased the Banas Dairy management and made me an inseparable part of their institution.
It was certainly an image building challenging process and as an NDDB officer I did it successfully !
And then again , I got a transfer. This time to NDDB, Delhi during 1998 -2000 where I got a novel experience of working in a metro city .
In 2000 I had a severe sickness in Delhi and I was compelled to take VRS as I had completed 20 plus years of service.
NDDB culture always taught me lesson of hard work, dedication and sincerity which paid me as Banas Dairy Managemnt absorbed me as Manager in the Training center and I was not jobless even for a single day where I worked till 2012.
Plan and work to schedule to accomplish any job, howsoever challenging it may be was the principle that I learnt from my esteemed organisation and that ultimately came to my rescue !
Contributed by Dr.Hemendra Joshi – NDDB/ SAGP 1977-2000, Banas Dairy / 2001-2012