Good morning from Delhi.
Hope you are free and no shoots today being Sunday.
You don’t know me, but I do (know you). Am part of the billion aam janta that dot this land well captured by your grandfather Late Raj Kapoor saab through many of his wonderful flicks. Great man, indeed.
You’re a matinee idol and chased by many big corporate to endorse their products. Like Amitabh Bachchan saab selling pan masala or some cement or some biskooth. I have no quarrels with you celebrities making some pocket money through this endorsement deals. Brand Ambassador of so and so model or so and so company. Mujhe kuch lena dena nahi hai.
I feel there need to be some ethical angle attached to such endorsements when big celebrities like you sign up.
Enough of this long preamble. Let me now come to the issue at hand.
Ranbir, you’re the Brand Ambassador #RenaultIndia‘s Kwid passenger car. Wonderful car indeed. I rode. Not in, but along with. Not one, but eight Kwid from Chennai to Gurgaon last week in a car carrier. Good time covering 2762 km, passing through 8 states over 6 days in a truck.
Renault is a wonderful company with wonderful products. Duster is my favorite. Again, I never owned one, but traveled from Kolkota to Jamshedpur. Brand new one two years ago, courtesy a transporter friend.
Sorry, this is a long post. Bear with me. Because the issue is serious and warrants detailing.
We all know that #RenaultInidia is operating in India and therefore expect it to follow Indian rules and regulations. No exceptions, but specifically got it done in writing from authorities. Right?
Ranbir, we all know our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) and going whole hog trying to eliminate Open Defecation (shitting in open space). Tonnes of rupee spent in this endeavor.
What has #RenaultIndia got to do with this, you ask Ranbir? Good question.
Last week, while I was waiting at #RenaultIndia‘s stockyard at Chittoor/Andhra Pradesh (24 June 2016) for them to complete some paperwork before the car carrier I was in can move out, I suddenly felt the need to attend to my nature’s call. Okay, I wanted to shit. On hearing this request, the Driver Assistant of my vehicle, handed over a Pepsi bottle – 2 litres filled with water – and directed me to go outside the massive stockyard of #RenaultIndia to complete my deed!
I asked why? Is there no toilet inside? I knew it because two years ago I had visited the same facility and I was shown around the Rest Room and Washroom (toilets) for waiting truck drivers to showcase how driver-friendly this French auto giant is or was. Naturally I was flummoxed.
As a corollary, I approached the security and other officials asking for toilet.
“You’re a driver or cleaner?” I was asked.
“How does it matter? All I need directions to the toilet,” I responded.
I was bluntly told: “You’re not entitled to toilets inside. Go outside this compound and do!”
Then, what about the Rest Room and Washrooms built for drivers?
I was told “You (drivers.cleaners) are incorrigible. Dirty guys. You don’t deserve such facilities.”
Ranbir, I escalated the toilet access denial to drivers servicing this French company to the highest possible level (through an email to Managing Director) and also alerted PMO, Andhra Pradesh govt where Chittoor falls and the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation in Government of India, Delhi. Also sounded the Chittoor MLA Smt Satyapraha Adhikesavalu via phone calls, emails, twitter whatnot.
Yes, you’re right, nothing happened so far. Except a twitter request from #RenaultIndia handle asking me to share my contact details so that someone can talk to me (2 July 2016).
Absolute MORONS! The social media team of this French company is clueless. In fact, #RenaultIndia’s corporate affairs head is aware of it much before the social media tracking team. Yet this silly request of getting my contact coordiniates!
Ranbir… Here is a request to you.
You’re a Brand Ambassador of Renault India’s Kwid passenger car. All what I spelt out above has a Kwid connect.
Therefore I request you to tell your beneficiaries (Renault India) that this is India where they are operating and asking drivers/cleaners serving them to go out and defecate in public is an insult to the nation. And a SNUB to the Prime Minister of Republic of India.
All of us make mistakes. It is NEVER too late to amend our acts of commission and omission. Tell #RenaultIndia honchos to throw open the toilets inside the Chittoor stockyard to its own drivers who help them sell their own Kwid promoted by you.
Ranbir, just a call from you would suffice. And help restore some dignity to our fellow Indian professional drivers.
Will you, please, Ranbir? Thanks in advance.
P.S.: By the way, I did not get access to toilets at this Chittoor Stockyard that night. I waited till next morning to clean my bowels at a BPCL fuel station in Bengaluru!
However, sensing trouble, the team there cleared the vehicle I was traveling in record 1 hour time as against the conventional 5 hours wait. In the process, I also jumped the queue from somewhere around waitlist No.15. When I came out of Bengaluru toilet, many truck drivers ferrying Kwid were still in the yard. Did they clean their bowls in Renault India stockyard toilet or out on the Chittoor roadside, I don’t know.