Dr. HB Joshi
Early morning telephone call
In the foggy weather of Delhi that day , sun was yet to come out and the severe cold was preventing me from coming out of my cosy bed. Suddenly the telephone bell rang.
Very unusual and surprising to get a call at that hour to so early in the morning !
I jumped out of the bed a bit anxious and worried that may be something odd is in store for me! ‘
“Hello Dr.Joshi , an emergency meeting is called for,day after tomorrow at 10 am and you have to attend this meeting unfailingly” ! Dr Nadiadwala MD , Bikaner Milk Union was on line speaking in a high decibel voice so much that I had to keep the receiver away from my ears.
I understood the underlying anxiety as he shared with me further details about the issue of milk prices to be paid to member producers. The situation had become critical. Milk producers were agitated , had become quite adamant and wanted to go on a milk strike explained Dr. Nadiadwala.
I had no opportunity to say anything about my travel plan, etc. as such a vital issue needed immediate addressing ! I just consented to be present in the meeting.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I used to be at GDCTC
This was the year 1999 -2000 during my tenure at NDDB , New Delhi after my transfer from GDCTC,Palanpur / Banas Dairy campus, Palanpur which was a major turning point in my life; from a small town to a metro city!
Albeit , the Chairman Banas Milk Union has asked me whether I wanted to continue to stay at GDCTC. He had said that he would request Madam Amrita Patel who was then the Chairman, NDDB.
But I politely refused that proposal because if the organisation needs me in Delhi I have to go. My conscience and ethics did not allow me.
New place, new job and the role expectations change !
In NDDB Delhi office I was asked to report to Shri BS.Khanna, Manager (IS).
I was assigned nine prime milk unions of Rajasthan to represent NDDB on their Board. Apart from other responsibilities I had to periodically attend Board meetings of milk cooperatives; a total transformation in my role !
At the board meetings as NDDB representative it was expected that one would help resolve issues amicably and also push for the clearing dues that the unions owed to NDDB. I was also a member of team (s) that would help plan and implement programmes on production enhancement, breeding and milk procurement activities.
Adventure or misadventure
I took a bus travelling in the the heavy slow moving traffic to commute in to the office at Safdarjung Enclave time was running out.After that telecom about an emergency meeting at Bikaner Milk Union,
I had hardly any time left. When I enquired for availability of a rail ticket there was a set back and that made me more anxious but there was no option. What to do now?I had an honest conversation with myself to gather strength.
I decided to speak to Dr.R.S.Gill who was the then MD, RCDF at Jaipur about confirming my visit as I knew that it was quite essential for me to visit Bikaner in such unforeseen circumstances and so I was quite determined !
There was hardly any time left for travel and reach on time for the meeting.On the second day, I decided to go straight from office by whatever means available and travel to Bikaner. I informed my Manager he was surprised about my plan ! I also informed my wife from the office just before I started my journey !
I took a AC luxury bus and left Delhi at 1 pm and reached Jaipur at around 7.30 pm. The weather was harsh and cold and I had nothing except my empty lunch box. It was quite a misadventure that I had undertaken. I had inadequate protective clothing to withstand the cold weather !
On reaching Jaipur, I bought a woollen cap atleast keep my head warm and boarded an express bus from Jaipur for Bikaner at around 9 PM scheduled to reach Bikaner at around 8 am the next day morning.Mercury went down further making it unbearable after midnight and I was feeling cold but the enthusiasm (josh) was tremendous to attend and fulfill the commitment I had made !
Recent picture courtesy Bikaner Milk Union website
After Reaching Bikaner in the morning I called on the phone Dr. Nadiadwala from the hotel I was staying. He was very happy and relieved that I had reached on time for the meeting.
Issue resolved amicably and the lesson learned
I reached the venue of the meeting about half an hour before the start of the meeting and discussed with Dr. Nadiadwala and we strategised on the way to conduct the meeting.
I suggested that at the meeting I sit with the Milk Union board members and not with the MD.I felt that by sitting with the board members they would psychologically feel that I was on their side. My presence amongst them would also help as they be less excited and not be in a confrontationist mood.
I started with a prelude how to help them out of this precarious situation amicably and expressed my honest intentions to come right from Delhi at such a short notice to be of help !This had an impact.
Ice was broken and conversation started in a positive mode and finally it was decided to hold action, give some time for resolving the issue jointly, instead of taking an unproductive step to go on a strike!
I was delighted that with the grace of God, my travel at such short notice and “pleadings” at the Board meeting bore fruitful results and the issue got resolved amicably.
It was the one of the first such experiences in my professional life as earlier I worked predominantly, as a trainer !
We were all so happy!
On my return to Delhi my colleagues were quite surprised to see me after sudden disappearance. I shared with them my pleasant experience !
Even my wife was quite surprised when I narrated the whole story about my adventure !
Contributed by Dr.Hemendra Joshi – NDDB/ SAGP 1977-2000, Banas Dairy / 2001-2012
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