Mumbai: BEST conductor yells at senior citizen for taking a seat

Mar 03, 2016, 12:00 IST | Shashank Rao

A 70-year-old Goregaon resident regretted taking a BEST bus back to his place from Andheri on February 27 when a conductor humiliated him for not asking aloud for a ticket.

M Bhalekar
M Bhalekar

M Bhalekar was in the DN Nagar, Andheri when he decided to take a bus rather than struggle to find space in a train. He boarded bus route no. 241 at Indian Oil bus stop at 10.20 am. “I sat at the seat meant for senior citizens and took out Rs 18 to pay for the ticket. The bus was almost empty with hardly anyone standing,” said Bhalekar, who is the Secretary General at Western India Automobile Association in Churchgate. The agency also holds safe driving programmes for the BEST drivers.

While he was to alight at Bangur Nagar bus stop in Goregaon, he was waiting for the conductor to collect his money and give him a ticket. Bhalekar claims that finally near Oshiwara-Goregaon bus depot the conductor came to him and took the money. “Tumhala tond nahi kay? Tumcha kaam kai fakta bus madhe yeun basaicha? (Can’t you speak? Is your work just to come and sit in the bus?” shouted the conductor in front of other passengers.

The septuagenarian was taken aback as he felt humiliated with the kind of words the conductor used. Bhalekar said even after asking the conductor to calm down and telling him this was no way of behaving with a senior citizen, the conductor said, “Tumhi konalahi shikvat asal, mala shikau naka (Teach someone else, don’t try to teach me).” He then issued the ticket.

Bhalekar filed a complaint yesterday. “I have complained against him at the BEST headquarters and addressed the top authorities. Such behaviour is unpardonable and the conductor shouted with no fault of mine,” added Bhalekar.

BEST officials agreed with the senior citizen and said that they keep receiving complaints about conductors’ bad behaviour. “We will have to look into this as the complaint has gone to GM’s office,” said a spokesperson for the BEST. The authorities added that most of the complaints are against young conductors who argue for smallest things. The most common reason for arguments between conductors and passengers is the need of change.

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