Deep Bajaj, an Australian National University Alumnus: Be a Part and Welcome this Companionable Change
Deep Bajaj, the founder of India’s First Female Urination Device — PeeBuddy (http://www.peebuddy.in), wholeheartedly seconds No Sir No Madam crusade. PeeBuddy is an easy-to-carry and disposable product that enables women to stand and urinate in all unfriendly toilets.
He has received his masters in marketing from The Australian National University. Prior to PeeBuddy, working in several sectors has provided multidimensional experience to Deep. The idea to invent PeeBuddy occurred to him, when he was on a road-trip along with four couples. The women kept complaining about how dirty toilets were on fuel stations and restaurants/dhabas. Furthermore, how convenient it is for men to relieve themselves. This is when Deep had the Eureka moment and embarked onto creating PeeBuddy.
Deep firmly believes in taking the responsibility of bringing the change himself. Hence, he ensures that his employees do not have to address him as ‘Sir’. He asserts, “I have noticed the boon of following No Sir No Madam ideology myself. My employees correspond with me more openly, and we even crack jokes on each other. This creates a fun environment to work in and does not make the job feel tedious.”
He reminisces a few instances where his employees would refer to him as ‘Sir’, despite having the liberty of first-name addressal. He would candidly ask them, “Are you exercising the usage of ‘Sir’ to refer to my head? (As in Hindi, the head is termed as ‘sarr’) Sir is bald ‘Sir’!
Some private organisations still adhere to salutation mandate in India. Senior executives take pride in being addressed as ‘Sir/Madam’. Deep opines that, in companies, the word ‘salutation’ has lost its meaning. Employees exercise it to flatter their seniors rather than to show respect. People do not realize that respect can be portrayed without cohering to such formal decrees.
‘Sir/Madam’ tradition cannot be uprooted overnight, especially when it is ingrained into our minds for decades. While dealing with government officials, one has to refer them with a salutation in India. Bureaucrats judge an individual as a criminal if he/she addresses them by their first-name. Deep emphatically conveys — it is not entirely their fault. They have been plying to a salutation diktat, for as long as they can remember.
He remembers when he started working, everyone used to exercise ‘Sir/Madam’ tradition. It was only when people realized the importance of a friendly culture, they dropped the formal courtesy. Hence, ministers and office-bearers ought to be introduced to the perks of a casual culture too.
Furthermore, society treats people from the low economic-demographic background callously. Thus, we ought to be working towards minimizing discrimination. Therefore, Deep indicates that No Sir No Madam doctrine can help in achieving this goal. He cites his experience of dealing with his house-help. Deep vocalizes – At home, we refer our driver and cook as ‘bhaiya’ and ‘didi’ respectively. Moreover, I never dictate them to address me or my wife as ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’. They are diligent at their work, and we feel mutually respected.
Deep suggests that everyone should inculcate this habit in their daily life to uplift the less-fortunate. It is truly unfortunate that in India, people are respected for their designation and not for their work. Furthermore in places, for instance, education institutions, this practice is given more encouragement. In some schools, students have to address their seniors as ‘Sir/Madam’. Deep fails to understand the relevance of such a baseless custom. If children are encouraged to continue this practice, they grow up to be arrogant individuals.
Therefore, in order to avoid this, people need to be educated about No Sir No Madam cause. Deep concludes by suggesting, “Enlighten masses about No Sir No Madam in colleges and corporate offices.” He cites an example of the Bollywood movie ‘Page3’, which purveys that you have to be a part of the system, to change the system.
Finally, he alluringly quotes – Change begins with us, and it will never occur if no one takes an initiative. His favourite line for his start-up is, ‘If you are at it, you will crack it’ and if we are at this No Sir No Madam drive, we will surely crack it!