Ruchi Jain, Founder of Taru Naturals ardently supports No Sir No Madam movement. Taru Naturals is a grass-root movement of 3000 tribal and small-scale farmers across India. They focus on building a fair-trade network between the farmers and markets, with healthy and organic produce.
Ruchi has received a master’s degree from the prestigious University of Oxford, UK. She worked as a consultant at EASAC, UK and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, New Delhi. However, she quit her job to follow her entrepreneurial spirit and embarked on forming Taru Naturals.
Ruchi believes that No Sir No Madam is an important initiative. She opines — ‘Sir/Madam’ custom was inherited to us by the Britishers, and we continue to follow it without understanding the meaning behind that formality. I personally ensure to follow a salutation-free culture in my organization and the people I work with.
People think a person is playing respect towards them when they use “Sir/Madam” to address them. However, that respect is so fake as you do not know if it is genuine or because of fear.
She continues “I work with a lot of farmers, some of them who do not even understand the words “sir/madam”. They use vernacular terms to refer to me, and I have never felt disrespected. I think it will be better for us if we adhere to practice local terms like ‘didi’, ‘bhaiya’, ‘akka’, and other such as words to communicate with each other.
On the other side, being a startup, I sometimes do have to stick to salutation custom to get work completed. Many Indians still believe being addressed with a salutation as a sign of respect. Therefore, I have to use “Sir/Madam” unwillingly to ensure my business continues.”
Some Indians similarly follow the salutation diktat just to get their projects completed, especially while dealing with the bureaucrats. Remarks — “Sir/Madam” tradition is at every juncture in the government sector.
However, many of new civil servants do not mind being addressed as “Mr./Mrs.” followed by their last name. I think to eradicate salutation mandate from the public sector, the people who train these government officials need to be taught about No Sir No Madam doctrine first.
Ruchi Jain also ventures that instilling No Sir No Madam thesis in schools would benefit the children.
She shares “I went to a J- Krishnamurti alternative education schooling system, where we would address the teachers by their name. It was easier for us to communicate with the teachers, and we shared a closed and cordial relation. This in turn helped to eradicate any fear out of our minds and helped us to learn better.”
In conclusion, Ruchi quotes — Sir/Madam culture limits respect only to a certain section of the society. Let us now start respecting everyone equally, be it, the any level of worker or the senior most executives.