A Salute to The Silent Workers of the Modern Institutions

Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Published on: 8th March 2014
Long back during my childhood I read a story in Hindi, which was about foundation and about façade. Foundation gets ignored, but Façade gets recognized. The really important thing is Foundation. Hero worship is the order of the day. There are many people, who have been recognized by the society for doing nothing (probably because they were able to head great institutions). There are many people who have been recognized and awarded for doing what they have been paid for. There are also people, who have charged for all that they have done, yet the society appreciates their contribution. The yardstick of recognition is simple; can you contribute to the development of the society? Can you transform the society? Can you convert an organization into an institution? Again the question is - can we identify who is at the foundation?

It is the habit today to recognize and reward those who have used their official position or power in affecting some change, and we fail to notice the amazing contribution of the silent workers. These silent workers are many times the most important source of creating the great work culture, which converts an institution. Gyan Vihar University has created Pillars of Dedication to recognize and value contribution of all such workers who have been at the foundation. But this is not the case with most institutions. Can we recognize those people also who have really built the modern institutions into what they are doing? I am not talking about those who have given charity for construction of the building. I am talking about those who have created and established work culture, the real fabric of the organizations.
a salute to the silent workers of the modern institutions,respect
Organizations convert into institutions when they are respected; they are valued and their role in society is recognized. A few organizations turn into real change makers of the society. Converting an organization into institution is a life devotional experience, more than years; it requires all your passions and intrinsic motivation. How can you transform an organization into an institution? The real task is left to people.

The official age of retirement is 60. A few people continue to work beyond this age also. A few people start early and continue working even beyond 70. I shall take you to two such people. Banwari Lal and Maliram are both above 75, yet they are amazing in their dexterity, speed, accuracy, and punctuality. Both of these have put in 5 decades of dedicated contribution to the development of the prestigious Poddar College, Nawalgarh. Both these employees walk down to their offices daily (they walk down 15km daily) and reach before all other employees and stay till their work is complete. Young employees come, join, get training and leave dissatisfied because of mismatch between their expectations and realities. But these youngersters are mentored and guided by Banwari Lal and Maliram, who encourage them to embrace the work culture and commitment to organizational values. They try to support, help and inspire the younger staff who join at far more salary and get far better incentives also. They have unwavering dedication and commitment to their work, which have enabled them to create a positive impact on the organizational culture. These are the people who have championed for the cause of quality of work. I worked with them as a Principal and appreciated their amazing contribution and love for perfection. Banwari Lal is a cashier, Maliram is a peon, but their role is not less in any form. They have never been recognised, appreciated or rewarded by any group, institution or organization, but I firmly believe that these are the real pillars of the institutions. It's not the salary that has kept these two people inspiring. It is now their habit to nurture their institution and its values. They get salaries which are very low, but that can never be inferred from their amazing commitment. There is a need to create systems to recognize and appreciate contribution of such silent workers, who have been the foundations of modern institutions.
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