The Optimist Citizen

The reaction from a Chief Ticket Inspector on a confession letter from a 20-year old for not buying tickets will amaze you!

Thousands of passengers avail the services of the local trains every day in bustling heartland of Mumbai. But, more often than not, most of these passengers travel without tickets and often brandish it as a sign of privilege and wit. Very few truly realize that it is their duty, as a citizen of this nation, to follow rules and pay for the services provided by the national administration.

Vijetha Mishra was one of those regular passengers in the Mumbai local trains. What made her realize that traveling without tickets was a violation of her constitutional obligation was a nationwide campaign called ‘Samvidhan Live’ which has been recently launched by Commutiny Youth Collective in collaboration with 25 partner organisations spread across 15 states.

She became a part of the campaign in Mumbai through ‘The Blue Ribbon Movement’, one of the partner organisations of the campaign. Like majority of the youngsters in India, Vijetha also knew very little about her fundamental rights and duties beyond textbooks. It was this campaign that made her realize that there is a lot more in actually exercising these rights and duties in her daily life. As participants of Samvidhan Live, Vijetha, and her campaign partner Ashwin are engaging in a lot of fun filled games and activities under the campaign that intends to sensitize the country’s youth and make them aware of their rights and duties granted by the constitution.

Understanding and realizing her duties, Vijetha wrote a ‘letter for forgiveness’ to the Chief Ticket Inspector of Panvel Station accepting her wrongdoing, with a promise of not repeating the same. Initially hesitant, when she gathered some courage and presented the letter to the Chief Ticket Inspector she received a positive response from them. What reinforced her satisfaction of taking such a step were indeed the unexpected words of appreciation she received from the authorities. The Chief Ticket Inspector emphatically wrote, “It was a great gesture from your side. Please buy your proper tickets and travel. All the best be like that”. This further cemented her motivation to follow the rules then onwards.

While the prevailing notion of today’s youth is that rules are meant to be broken, participants of Samvidhan Live -The Jagrik Project are exercising their fundamental duties by ethically following rules, taking ownership of the constitution and emerging as responsible Indian citizens.

PIYULI GHOSH | TOC
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