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Indian Postal Service 2016 Batch
Current Designation - Assistant Director General (Marketing), Dak Bhawan, New Delhi
Home Town - Jaipur
Native State - Rajasthan
Education - BA in humanities (Geography, Economics & English Literature) Maharani's College, Jaipur passed in 2009.
MA in Geography JNU Delhi passed in 2011
Previous Responsibility - Senior Superintendent of Post Offices (SSPO) Patiala Division Punjab
“There’s no greater challenge and there is no greater honor than to be in public service.” — Condoleezza Rice
Hello everyone, I am Aarti Verma Indian Postal Service Officer 2016 batch and I truly believe in the aforementioned beautiful thought penned by Condoleezza Rice.
These words keep me inspired and motivated to walk on the path of civil services everyday with head held high.
It's a proud privilege to share some of my experience through the MCR's Alumni Connect Platform (MAC).
Way back, Oct 2018, right after my training, I got my first posting as Senior Superintendent of Post Offices (SSPOs) Patiala. So my profile included managing the postal operations of two districts and handling all HR matters. I started my journey with the motto “I will change everything” but gradually I realised it's not always about changing everything, it’s more about understanding the system first and then making only relevant changes. There is a dire need of simplifying the processes for a common man.
Once a very old couple came to tell me the difficulty they were having due to some cumbersome Post Office mechanism. They had some claims which had to be cleared. I asked them to drop all the details at the Post Office and promised them that the Post Office will come to them. I designated the task of verifying the entire thing and got their claim cleared. This is the minimum thing we can do. We can simplify the government process like giving a checklist of documents needed to open a new account will help the people clear the claim at one go.
In order to make changes, it’s a prerequisite to take staff on board. To achieve it, an award and reward system was put in place. At regular interval mental health workshops, training on soft skills and customer relations management was also given to the staff. We need to be quite observant to realize the needs of our staff. Maybe there is no chair in the office where your employee works and that could be the reason one is not being able to perform the designated or assigned work.
Being a public’s department postal department receives many sort(s) of grievances and being a district head from the day one I have been receiving complaints from various platforms regarding post offices in my jurisdiction. First of all complaints should be taken as a feedback and they tell us the pain points where we need to work upon. So I took them in good spirit and it helped me a lot to focus on the areas where improvement was required.
Since childhood I always ensure my surroundings should be neat and clean. I took it little forward by ensuring post offices pay attention towards cleanliness. A waste segregation programme at all Post Offices in Patiala was started and I am glad to share that for these efforts Patiala Postal Division won the Swachata Award in the public category given by Municipal Corporation Patiala. For this I organised numerous workshops. This initiative went on well. When we won the award, it boosted the morale of postal staff.
Say no to plastic campaign was also launched and it was well received by the public as well as staff members. I have been fortunate enough to get the role of being a nodal officer for IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities of Swacch Sarvekshan 2020 (Patiala). It has been an amazing experience of involving all stakeholders, inspiring people to first segregate their waste and start home composting. I quite became the ambassador of home composting. Through social media I tried to explain how home composting is easy to do and hardly takes a few minutes. Rallies and route marches organised to make people more aware. Even flash mobs were conducted to create an awareness among people regarding saying no to plastic.
To bridge the gap between the Post Office and the people, I have started the Facebook page of the Patiala Postal Division. We keep on posting all the information regarding the Post Offices there. We have asked the people to send their queries as well.
Through the MAC platform I would like to salute all corona warriors as well as postal employees who ensured to keep post offices open and serve people even when there was a lockdown. During covid-19 times postal employees have been delivering essential services to people. We had an Aadhaar enabled payment system, which is like a doorstep bank through which they can withdraw up to Rs 10,000. For this every postman had a phone. This helped many people to get money during the lockdown. Postmen became the ambassador of the message of “wear mask save lives”, during delivery of rakhi mail, postmen staff distributed masks to raise awareness among people to wear masks.
During Postal week 2020 a postal themed park one of its kind got inaugurated in Head Post Office Patiala. It has also been received very well, children enjoy to play there and on google as well it's getting an increase in the number of views. The themed park is a dedicated effort to not just create a good ambience in a post office premise but also inspire people to find a connection with the post office.
I got to know about an NGO Sangini Saheli, which works in the area of Women empowerment and enhancing their menstrual hygiene conditions, from social media. I had a dialogue with one of the like minded senior civil servant, Smt. Aman Preet (IRS officer ) and she suggested me to start a Patiala chapter of this initiative. I got in touch with a few of the volunteers. We started the distribution of sanitary napkins from a remote village of Patiala. We distributed amongst brick kiln workers. We asked them if they have ever used a sanitary napkin. What do they use during periods, etc? In order to have a meaningful birthday I decided to celebrate it by distributing sanitary pads through sangini saheli platform in patiala. As a bureaucrat we are always in the public gaze, our conducts are always observed, it when we speak about these issues, people listen and many others get courage to come forward. Women can also come forward and talk about this issue without hesitation.
You may think that this journey of mine, till date, sounds like a fairy tale in the land of bureaucracy & how so many initiatives got materialized. I would like to share that, they are results of persistent & determined efforts towards belief in the effort & the merit of these initiatives themselves. Usually initiatives are not well received in a government set up. But I truly believe we can give our seniors and colleagues a big picture and convince them. After all, an effort for a good cause is always welcome.
I am thankful to my seniors who have been quite supportive and encouraging. I am grateful to my staff members who have been adventurous enough to take the journey of my experiments with post offices in good spirit. Challenges have been there but one by one you have to conquer those challenges before they conquer your spirit to bring change.
“Lehron Se Dar Kar Nauka Paar Nahi Hoti/Koshish Karne Walon Ki Kabhi Haar Nahi Hoti” kept me motivated.
I find myself short of words to convey how much I am thankful to MCRHRDIT for encouraging me to share my story.
MCR has been very helpful in recognizing my potential & capabilities.
Thank you MCRHRDIT, always.
- Aarti Verma
Interview transcript with Bureaucrats Indiahttps://www.bureaucratsindia.in/blogdetail/a-lot-is-being-done-to-improve-the-functioning-of-postal-system-says-senior-indian-postal-service-officer-aarti-verma
Awareness Campaign - Composting
Women Empowerment through Pad Distribution on My Birthday
Women Empowerment through Pad Distribution on My Birthday (More Glimpses)
Postmen Staff Maintaining Social Distancing Simple Card Board Solution
Sangini Saheli Pad Distribution
Say No to Plastic Campaign
Swacch Bharat Campaign