Sunday, September 24, 2006

Escaping from Pocket Pickers and Making Celebrations Colorful

Escaping from Pocket Pickers and Making Celebrations Colorful

The business hub of South India, Chennai is known for very many great fame, including the latest achievement of having a branch of World Bank coming up in Taramani. But Chennai is famous for its notorious pocket pickers and baglifters too. There are also white collar thieves in the caps of autorickshaw fellows, who would charge you anything ranging from 50 USD for a small distance of five kilometers from Chennai Airport to Tambaram or Vandaloor. All with the blessings and connivance of the political parties.

Starting this week, it is Dussehra and then Diwali and a plethora of festivals lined up. It is upto us to ensure the safety and security of our valuables while we travel in public conveyances. This post is intended to illustrate how much we, commuters in Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses have to coooperate with the bus crew to bring this pocket picker menace down. A few tips to guard yourselves from pocket pickers in Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses. While travelling in a late night bus (G70 -- Vadapalani - Tambaram), I compiled a few points from the conductor with the caps of a blogger. Thanks to the conductor, Selvam, for sparing his time in giving the following tips.

  1. Plan you routes well before. Ad hoc boarding does not help. Rather it delays the services for others as well.
  2. Give way for others to alight from the bus before boarding the bus.
  3. Try to board the bus right at the terminus or at marked bus stands rather than at signal points or where it slows down. The problem with this approach is that your concenteration is purely on boarding the bus and your focus on security gets relaxed in a passive reflex action.
  4. While boarding the bus, ensure that your hand baggage and/or other luggage is always in front of you. If you are having them in shoulders, ensure that it does not go back swinging at least while boarding the bus.
  5. Keep a correct change of currency handy instead of digging the wallet after boarding the crowded bus.
  6. First ensure the safety position in the bus and then ask the conductor to issue the ticket. The conductors normally emphasize this too. The simple reasons are:
    1. Safeguarding you from other pocket pickers who stand near the entrance and exit gateways.
    2. Making way for other passengers who are in the pipeline.
  7. Once you get the ticket, go forward. The buses have ear marked 'Entrance' and 'Exit' gateways separately.  The entrance is at the rear and exit is at the front.
  8. Ensure that your kids are safe with you instead of loitering here and there in the crowded bus. Avoid adoring your kid with costly jewellery while travelling in crowded bus.
  9. If somebody keeps brushing against you continuously, let your inner alarm sound. It is most probably a pocket picker at work. Also when somebody presses his hands against your face and you are forced to turn to a different direction, ensure that you move out of the place to a different position at an immediately available occasion. Remember that your focus and attention to your luggage and valuables must be doubled during this emergency.
  10. Try carrying only credit cards. Though a little more charges are leviable in merchant places, it is more safe to carry than a swollen wallet. Avoid too many credit cards and avoid a credit card with very fat limit, since loss of card in that case may mean more serious financial implications.

The safety and security of our valuables is upto us. There is no use lamenting later than the incident and pointing to the impotency of the administration or police security. With the amount of populations and crowd, which is geometrically increasing during the festival occasions particularly in business-centric places like Tambaram, T. Nagar, Parrys Corner, I don't think Police can mobilise enough forces to control and combat this menace without the cooperation of public. The ultimate security of our valuables and us is in our own hands and ingenuity.

With enough self-security in place, let us make the celebrations colorful and enjoyable.

1 comment:

All said...

Hi,

Nice blog!

Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as well?

Eg: www.ilaaka.com

www.onyomo.com

Thanks!

Rajeev