I fear OF……….

I fear of people,weird no???

Since last few days i was going to customs and clearance office for my cargo which has come from abroad.The cargo contains my kids toys, kitchen utensils and appliances and books total weighing less than 200 kgs.I have given authorization to an agent to get my goods cleared at the customs office which is also a dry port.The agent has charged me Rs.2000/- for his service and told  me not to negotiate as he won’t take any thing  less  or more than Rs.2000/- and i have to pay him after getting the said goods.

After filing the required documents i was told to come to the customs office so that the concerned authority will check my goods in my presence. We have reached moon and use advance technology to check baggage at the airport but our government doesn’t have a sense to use a scanner to check the goods which  arrive by the sea.The customs inspector removed all the packed things manually from the boxes and  got them placed  on the floor .My glass serving bowls and glasses were broken  when they were placed  on the ground  inspite of me giving them running commentary to do it carefully and slowly.

I was exempted from the paying the customs duty cause i have stayed more than 2 years abroad. So, i just had  to pay Rs.309/- towards  customs duty as my cargo doesn’t contain any new electronic items .The inspector told me that he is taking a personal risk and personal interest towards me and he is charging me ONLY Rs.309/-.

The reward for his personal risk and personal interest was i have to donate Rs.2000/- towards chairs as our government is very poor and can’t afford chairs in the central government offices.I told him i am not going to pay anything more than rs.309/-.This all was communicated to me by the agent not by the official himself.

That day i reached the customs office by morning 11.00 am (went there twice before).I was told that i will get the goods cleared by 1.00pm.Then the agent took me to concor for some identification which took 5 hours of waiting just to be asked my name, from which place i have come and how long i stayed there.Then my agent got the draft of rs.309/- and said that’s it.Your goods will be cleared in half an hour time.The time then was 5.00 pm and the warehouse gets closed by 6.00pm.

The agent again asked me to pay the donation,which i bluntly refused to pay.Now the time was 5.40pm.I was really pissed of and i never felt in my life so weak and helpless.I wanted to take my things at any cost that day.Was planning to ask help from the people there but whom do  i approach?? i totally lost faith in people that day and i was frustrated….

Then i started negotiating with the agent  regarding the donation money and agreed to pay  Rs.1000/- as i did not have  that  much cash with me. I wanted to get rid  of that place at any cost as my friend who was accompanying me was a diabetic and after breakfast he didn’t eat anything. I was scared if anything happens to him,he is a young guy but he has not taken his pills and food.

At last the agent agreed for Rs.1000/- as donation and the time was 5.50pm and agent was still confident that i can take my things.I was asked to pay the warehouse charges and did the payment as per the govt rules.

Then they took special interest and the  risk of opening the warehouse after 6.30pm and i was able to take out my goods by paying Rs.1oo each to the coolies.The time then was 6.40pm . My auto guy was waiting for me from 4.00pm and he was blessing to me.They congratulated me that i got my goods and i can go now.

Then i told my friend to go home and have his food. He took assurance from the auto guy and left at 7.00pm.From 6.40pm to 7.30pm i was held up at the gate i was not issued a gate pass.Then at 7.30pm i was called to sign some papers to get the gate pass which allows me to go out of the warehouse.There again i was asked to pay some amount to the officials as they opened the warehouse after their official closing time which was 6.00pm.Again told the same thing that i don’t have any cash and came out and sat in the auto.

Now the time was 7.50pm,the agent came running to me and said he needs another signature from me.I went inside and again they asked me for the donation.That was the scariest moment.My friend left,i was all alone and these guys were asking me for the money.I told them as i already agreed to pay Rs.1000/- towards the donation and Rs.2000/- as agent fee and i will send it to the agent the next day.The time was 8.10pm and luckily the auto guy came in and said to me that he has to leave and with him i ran out and took the auto.But i was again asked to pay some amount at the gate by the security fellow which i refused to pay.

Reached home at 10.00pm and luckily the auto guy was a good person and he didn’t charge   anything extra and carried all my things to my flat. Whole night i didn’t get sleep thinking about these people leeches and the pain and anguish  they caused me for the whole day.

That didn’t end that day.Morning got up with severe headache and didn’t send kids to school because they were super excited to see their  toys and books. We all went to sleep at 2.00pm and some one knocked the door.I got up and was about to open the door but my mom stopped me and saw two guys from the eye.To her shock she saw two hefty guys standing outside the house.I opened the door luckily my grill was locked.They said the agent has sent him to get Rs.3000/- from me.I called up the agent and shouted at him why he sent people to my house for the money as i told him i will send the money with my friend the next day which i didn’t do because my friend was not well.

He said sorry you give Rs.3000/-.To which i replied that i am supposed to pay only Rs.2000/- and i won’t pay anything more than that.If you say it is your fees that you should have told me before and if it was donation i refuse to pay it.For that he threatened me of dire consequences.I told him my friends work in TV9 (local telugu channel) and ETV.If you are threatening me than i will involve them in this and they will talk to you not me.Then he changed his voice and said madam what ever you want to pay you pay and he disconnected the line.This was the first time i experienced fear,my legs were shivering and i was blank.Luckily my mom was there,she gave me water and said there is no need to fear i am with you.Then i gave those people their agent fees and they left without any word.

It’s not the money but the pain and the fear they caused me to pay the donation.Had they done my things in time and without causing any pain and fear i would have given but the thought of paying them extra i wouldn’t digest.I still fear they may cause some harm to us.Googled for the local police patrol no and saved in my mobile and gave my friends from tv9 and etv no to my mom.Whole night i didn’t sleep,inspite of husband telling me not to fear as i have not done anything wrong and they wont come back.He said  what  you did was right and no need to  fear.

I clicked the below snap there and the contact no and the email id was covered by the complaint box.

Sorry for the poor snap.The board says:-

“Stop corruption

Lets make everyday

AN ANTI CORRUPTION DAY

If any employee of central government,nationalised banks/PSU’s demand bribe from you

is abusing his official power for personal gains…….””

Inform CBI and the phone number and the email id was covered by the complaint box.

Ps:Read donation as bribe

Sorry for the length of the post

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20 thoughts on “I fear OF……….

  1. Sari, I can feel your anger and helplessness. Some days I feel something similar, but nothing this much. You did very well, trying to stand up for your values. Your post is so true, of the situation we common people face here.

    I didn’t loose my cool lakshmi,i didn’t showed them that i am quite upset.I keep on telling them i don’t carry much cash.Corruption is rampant in our govt offices,every where from the school admission to the death certificate we have to pay the bribe.That’s the sorry state of our country.

  2. OMG !!
    this is so painful Saritha… I could feel how helpless feeling you had in the moments. actually, the ‘corrupt’ people are villains all over the world. Government should be very strict in dealing with the cases.. and at the same time, we need to be aware….

    How much ever our govt does,corruption is rampant.

    Don’t know how long people could try to hold their values…. standing whole day long just to receive a a legal item… the phenomena is very common… I can affirm you one thing, the scenario of my country is more pathetic 😦

    That made me sick,i was standing the whole day just to get MY things and for that i need to bribe them.I feel sorry for the people of ur country.

  3. That was quick thinking you showed there by getting media into the picture… Oh my! You must be terrified! Sick sick sick people!

    I felt our media is playing little role in doing sting operations and i felt they can help me if i go to them.I am still terrified to come alone at nights,i am avoiding going out after 6.00pm

    Welcome here

  4. That must have been such a nightmare, Sari! Such a shame that they stop at nothing, literally bring us to a point where we have no option but to give in.

    Still i have fear smitha,not getting much sleep thinking about that day.Some how escaped from there without paying.

    You know, if our govt took strong steps to eradicate corruption, things could change so drastically, but why would they? when they make so much money out of it 😦

    Hugs!

    No smitha even if govt takes strong steps we can’t eradicate corruption until we refuse to pay.Another person cargo also came with mine and he willingly paid the donation inspite of me arguing with him.

    Hugs

  5. Its really scary akka… government offices in our country are pathetic. they are just money swallowing goons.. I don’t want to say like that but each and every experience in govt. office was a nightmare..

    What u said is right they are money swallowing goons,sick people

    Kudos to you for standing up to it… take care.

    Thanks thambi.

  6. I just went through a round of this. The point is, even if you are an honest citizen and don’t want to pay a bribe, they make sure you have to do it by stalling your work indefinitely otherwise – it made me feel so helpless that I could cry!

    This is what they said when i told them i wont pay the donation,they did the work slowly till 6.00 so that i am forced to pay to open the warehouse and take my things.

    Even i felt like crying

  7. Good work Saritha, glad that you didnt fall for it ! Its time they took off the term government ‘servants’ and renamed them as government ‘robbers’ !

    Thanks vimmu,those government robbers are leeches 😦

  8. That was scary! I am glad you did not fall for the “donation”, and used the “tv9” idea to scare off your agent. Very good work.

    Thanks piyu

    I am not sure I would have so much guts, if I were in your place.

    Even i am not sure how i got that much guts to say NO to them.Have been hearing about CWG and sting operations done by telugu media in catching the govt officials taking the bribe,got the idea to scare the agent about TV9 and etv.

  9. Harrowing experience ! sorry that you had to go through this trouble.Reminds me how we were literally looted by the custom -officials at Delhi airport -one of the official tried to take out my hub’s wallet ,at that time i really lost my cool and threatened them of a legal actions . A trip to any govt office might turn up a bitter experience like this.Thanks to media ,at least greedy people like your agent are scared of at least something.

    At airport even i had horrible experience when i brought a video cam which i used for 2 years.Inspite of showing them the bill which was 2 years back,i was forced to pay the customs duty of rs.500,i paid it because i got the receipt

    Illiterate construction workers when return back to hyd,they are fleeced by customs officials at the airport,they don’t treat them like humans.

    Saritha..i wrote a post for an ezine and was checking the preview and by mistake published it.I will repost it in near future on my blog .My hugs to both the girls and you too,please take good care of yourself too:)

    Ok,i as well thought that.

    Hugs from both the girls and from me too

  10. Oh dear…thats a terrible experience with these damn Govt officials….I just hate the way, they make us a part of the corruption crime, by giving us such nightmarish times. And that too, when hubby is not around, I can understand the tough time u underwent.

    Most of the people who has to deal with these govt officials want there work to be done quickly and they bribe them for that.Mine they took whole day,me without lunch was standing the whole day,didnt want to bribe them as they caused me so much pain,its not me only who suffered,even kids suffered at home.Pinky thought i went to dubai without taking her.

    Hugs to u, for standing up, Sari. Take care.

    Thanks uma and hugs

  11. This is TERRIBLE!!!! 😡

    With people like these, how in the world will India emerge as a developed nation!
    These rascals should be taught a lesson so that they will never ever forget it for the rest of their lives!
    All are ashamed of you, CUSTOMS OFFICERS and bloody agents!

    Most of the people who travel to india would have encountered these customs officers who don’t behave like humans,sad part is they fleece the poor construction workers who come from gulf

    Sari, you did the right thing of standing up. HUGS!
    Don’t worry, nothing will happen to you!
    We are all there with you.

    Thank you so much ec

  12. Ridiculous, I wish i could put some slang’s here for those people, as you said leeches .. Its amazing how much money talks and yet people who live there if you say anything like this , they come to kill you alomsot how dare we say that.. ANd yet when someone tells about bad practices happening in india, its because we are NRI’s or foreigners or we dont like india etc etc

    The solution for this is with us,we all should said no to bribes,but to get our work done faster etc we end up paying the bribe.

    I am really NOT shocked at what you went through, though I understand your empathy over what was going on, wish i can SORRY to you on that behalf, but this happens and it will continue.. SAD Situation , you had this when you took stuff so much of it ..

    THey did this to me over 3 Bottles of DUTY FREE, at the airport, it was my sisters wedding, so i bought 3 bottles , blimey and they wanted money to let it go through customes, in the end I opened one bottle and threatened to spill it down, BUt I refused to give the money , THey made me wait for 2 hours .. But I just stood there I was in no hurry ..

    One can carry 1 1/2 liter of liquor without any duty,above that duty is charged.If your 3 bottles is 1 1/2 liter then you should not pay the duty,if it is more than that you are supposed to pay the duty.Correct me if i am wrong.

    Then I wanted to bring my BIKE from india to UK, the UK govt had no problems WHATSOEVER, but our darling officials would only let go if i gave some money , again either i am too stubborn or am a idiot.. IT took 2 months for my bike to come here, and that too in the end when i was at my tethers i called my grand-dad and told him who in turn called the local IG police or someone …

    Good you used your influence.I remember when sachin brought a car there was much news that he was exempted from the duty but later he paid the customs duty.

    So it happens , you got to take it in your stride.. all the best for any more stuff coming.. but I can understand how you felt especially that late at night and alone.. Take care

    No i had enough of trouble,i don’t want to bring anything hence forth.

  13. This was really horrible….!!! Many times we face such situations ..!! Thanks for bringing all that on the blog.
    I had one such experience while getting 2nd Cylinder for LPG. I even thought of moving to consumer court and filing an application under RTI seeking details regarding policy towards issuing gas connections and all. But regrettfully, as many times happens, middle class mentality cripped into and I left the that idea once things were over.

    That’s correct when our work is done,we think of living the issue than and there itself.

    Peace
    Anjaan Rahgir

    Thanks

  14. This is scary, sari! The kind of corruption our country is entangled in is shameful indeed. But your courageous stance while dealing with such crooks is commendable! And you did the right thing by blogging about it too.

    Thanks deeps

    Its ironic how the customs office which has hung the anti-corruption message-board for everyone to see has so many corrupt officials working and maligning the repute of our nation. But that only shows the pathetic state of corruption in our country.

    I saw quite a few boards in every room there but hardly those writing on the boards are followed

  15. That is indeed a stand well taken. I am glad the Auto guy didn’t try to take advantage!
    But Saritha, there is door to door cargo service now! You make all the payments and duties here in Dubai itself and they deliver it to your doorstep! My mom shifted to India when I joined college. For the past 20 years or so she used to stay alone in Kerala for half the year and in Dubai the other half. The main problem she faced was this corruption. The mailman refuses to deliver letters properly if you don’t give him some extra change. What used to be given as a token of appreciation before, is now being demanded, especially if you are a lone woman. People pay it out of fear always. It’s a sad state of affairs! Did you complain regarding it? I am sure there are websites where you can login complaints against such people, if you have the names. Anonymously at least!


    I have used the door to door service but for furniture and electronic goods i took space in a container and to get my container released at the govt container depot i had gone there.

    Here in hyd when we get a new passport we have to pay the postman 200-300 bucks if not he won’t deliver it.

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