Bharti Sumaria: I Feel Odd When People Address me as ‘Madam’
Bharti Sumaria, a housewife turned entrepreneur recognizes the benefits of No Sir No Madam drive. She is a hardworking woman, who is now the owner of several businesses in India.
She was not allowed to study beyond 10th grade and was married off at an early age by her parents. However, Bharti’s married life was more of a nightmare for her. She was a victim of domestic violence and had no escape from her struggle. After years of disturbance, and support from her paternal family, she set up her own plastic manufacturing company. Her firm now caters to heavyweights such as Cipla and Bisleri.
Bharti ceaselessly tries to inculcate the first-name habit into her employees. She states — her employees still adhere to salutation custom despite her constant nagging. “I feel really odd when everyone keeps referring me as ‘Madam’. My employees complain that they cannot address me by first-name as I am their employer.”
Furthermore, she adds that it is ingrained into us to show respect by addressing with formality. “No matter how much I try, very few actually follow it.” Bharti voices that she learnt about No Sir No Madam from her young employees. Youngsters would always refer her as ‘Bharti’, and at first she found it strange. It was only later that she realized that this is the new culture.
She confesses, “Even though it was new to me, I liked it and accepted first-name custom. It really helps in building better relation to the employees. It abolishes any formal hierarchy and makes you feel like working for a friend.”
She advocates that the implementation of No Sir No Madam in professional life is vital. People need to apprehend that respect has nothing to do with salutation. Bharti enunciates that at work, an individual’s performance is more important than any formal obeisance.
Additionally, ‘Sir/Madam’ culture is practiced stringently in the government sector. Officials take offense when addressed by their name. They impose such edicts onto their subordinates and the citizens to boost their ego. Bharti opines that bureaucrats need to learn the importance of their name. People remember someone’s contribution to society by their name and not by salutation. Moreover, she mentions that a name is given to identify a person distinctively. Hence, it makes sense to impart first-name practice in such offices.
While dealing with workers, it is essential that we show them the respect they deserve. Petty-job workers are always deemed as inferior and treated indifferently, Bharti vocalizes
“We should not discriminate someone on the basis to their work. Rather, show respect by liberating them of such formal ordinances. I feel terrible when my factory workers refer my children as ‘Sir/Madam’. I want my kids to be respected for their achievements and not because of me. If we give laborers the freedom to address their employers by their first-name, they will feel proud of their work.” Therefore, she believes that No Sir No Madam culture is the change, the society needs to accept.
Bharti surmises that we need to come up with an idea to impart this ideology into middle-aged people. The youth has already implemented No Sir No Madam custom in their lives. It is only the older generation that resists any kind of remodeling.
She recommends spreading awareness about No Sir No Madam campaign on social media and other platforms. If people acknowledge the benediction of first-name format, they will embrace it with open arms. Furthermore, every individual needs to practice it in his/her life. Thus, venturing towards a change by following the famous saying, “Each one, teach one.”