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Mobile And Rikshawalla
My Mobile Phone
Poor People Can Be Honest
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Honesty of A Rickshaw-Walla
Problem of Communication
Communication is very important. Especially when you are travelling around it is all the more important. Before mobile phones came dependence upon landline phones made it extremely difficult. I had to find a local phone-booth to make a phone-call, and if the person was not there, I had to keep calling at regular intervals.
Mobile Too Expensive
After the mobile phone came, I thought it was a lot easier. But then it was very expensive also. When I went to India, I had my mobile with me. I had taken International roaming. But the phone companies were very cruel and greedy. If I made phone-call from India to anybody in India, I was charged for India to Australia and then also from Australia to India for the same call. It came to A$4.50 per minute. In addition, the Indian phone company will charge the recipient also as a ‘incoming overseas call.’ It was an expensive phone, need to be used only in emergency !
Reliance Prepaid Mobile
In 2005/6 when I went to Delhi, about that time I saw an ad about Reliance launching a prepaid mobile phone for just Rs. 3500.00(under A$100.00) and it also included Rs.1000.00 worth of local and STD calls within India. That was a great news for me. So I bought this mobile. It was small and very basic, just adequate to make and receive calls. But that served my purpose alright.
Lost the Mobile
From there I went to Rajkot to visit my relatives. Auto-Rickshaws are the main mode of public transport to move around the town. One day I could not find my mobile. It must have slipped out of trousers pocket when I had a bumpy ride in a rickshaw. I did not think I had any chance of getting it back, because whoever may have found it may easily get about Rs.2000.00 for that phone.
Found the Mobile
Couple of days later I got a phone-call from my nephew from Delhi. ‘Uncle, have you lost your mobile ?’ he asked. I was surprised, ‘how did he know that ?’ then he added, ‘ I know where your mobile is.’ Then he explained that someone from Rajkot has phoned him and asked if he knew who the mobile with this number belonged to and where is he. Just after that I got a phone call from a man, ‘I have got your mobile. If you give me your address I will come and deliver it to you.’
Honesty of Auto-Rickshaw-walla
It turned out to be an auto-rickshaw-walla. He said he found the phone yesterday from behind the seat when he was cleaning the rickshaw. By then the battery of the phone was flat. He took the phone to his cousin who had mobile repair business. He charged the mobile and found out its number. He also saw the list of names recorded.
His cousin suggested he can get about Rs. 3000.00 for the phone. That would be about a fortnight’s income to him. But he insisted to find out the rightful owner and return the phone. So the cousin phoned a few of the numbers recorded on the mobile until he got the required information from my nephew in Delhi.
I offered him Rs.500.00 as a reward for his honesty. At first he refused saying he did it as his duty to God and did not expect anything I return. He accepted it only after my suggestion that I am giving it so he can buy some toys and school books for his children.
I was amazed at the honesty of this rickshaw-walla and the trouble he took. His action strengthened by faith that there are plenty of good people in the society.