Are We Acting Responsibly ??

Posted on January 12, 2011


“What is this ?? Onion prices are shooting from the roof !! Food Inflation is going crazy !! Is the Government Sleeping ??” Said Naveen Kumar, a 34 year old salaried individual to his friend Karan Gupta.

Karan Smiled, “Are you really worried about the inflation?” he asked Naveen.

“Of Course !! Who wont be ??” Said Naveen. “If I were the Prime Minister, I would take this up as the most important problem and taken appropriate steps to solve it.”

“Thats so very thoughtful of you” Said Karan, “But you know what ? You can even do something without being the prime minister so that the inflation could be eased out to some extent.”

“Oh really !! But that isn’t really my job, is it ?” Asked Naveen.

“This is the problem with us, Naveen. All that we can do is blame others for things going wrong. We never bother to ask ourselves, ‘Are we acting responsibly?’ For all the problems, we think that someone else is responsible, and someone else should do something about it. Why not we ?” Karan was angry this time.

“Calm down Karan. I didn’t mean to hurt you. But we cant really do anything dude. Can we?” Said Naveen.

“Well we certainly can. First thing we need to do is stop wastage of food. It is still not uncommon to see people wasting loads and loads of food in weddings and social events. On one hand we say that food prices are soaring and on the other we don’t mind throwing it away in social functions.

When I ask the guests why are they doing it, they say, “Doesn’t matter to me, I am not paying for it.”

When I ask the Host, why so much food is being wasted, he says, “It is the Guests, who are wasting food. I cant say anything to them. Anyways, the caterer is going to charge me for per plate. So I am not actually paying for the wastage.”

When I ask the Caterer about the wastage, he says, “We cant do anything if the guests waste food. All we can do is, add it to our cost and charge the host accordingly. We have to buy additional material to complement the waste.”

So in effect, what I can see is, all the caterers buy a much higher quantity than required anticipating wastage. Thus, the overall demand is unnecessarily being increased because we are not assuming our responsibility. This additional demand contributes to further increase in price rise which, in effect, will have an impact on everyone including ourselves.

Lets make a resolution that next time we visit a wedding or social function, we do not waste food at all (or waste it to the minimal at least). This is something we can do while being the guest (the role which we have more frequently than being a host).” Said Karan.

“That sounds like a really good observation and idea Karan. I will immediately start implementing it. Is there anything else we can do?” Naveen seemed convinced.

“Yes Certainly !! There is a lot we can do than just to blame. It is also very common to see people visiting malls, multiplexes etc and paying 4-5 times of the usual cost for the food items. A simple enough example would be a Samosa which costs around Rs. 5 generally would be sold at Rs. 20- Rs. 25 in the malls, multiplexes etc and people are seen happily paying for it. The economics for this works like this: Since the Mall and Multiplex guys know they can sell you at such exorbitant prices, they don’t mind paying high costs while buying the raw materials (e.g. vegetables etc). This increase in expectation by the vegetable vendors prevents them from selling those vegetables to retails buyers at lower prices.

In effect, we pay 400% higher cost in the malls, multiplexes , clubs etc and are still happy whereas we keep cribbing the pay double the cost when buying the vegetables from the neighbourhood vendor. Lets stop throwing money to the wrong hands and then see the difference. ” Said Karan.

“Do You mean to say that we should stop going out and eating out ?” Asked Naveen.

“Well , if we cant STOP it, we can definitely make every attempt to REDUCE it. That too in our own interest. If we don’t , the ultimate losers will be ourselves only.” Said Karan.

“Why doesn’t the Government start subsidising the food items?” Asked Naveen.

“They might do so. But whom will it impact finally. Ultimately it will be paid from the taxes collected from you and me. So this way or the other, it will be paid from our pockets only.” Said Karan.

“So what is the solution for all this?” Asked Naveen.

“Well, the solution might not be so simple. But as they say, ‘Lets not blame the darkness, Lets light a Candle Instead.’ Let us try our bit to minimise wastage and keep the demand in check. If everyone starts thinking and acting responsible, we can definitely solve this problem to a very great extent, if not completely.” Said Karan.

When are we starting to act responsibly ??

(All the characters in the above article are hypothetical. There resemblance to any person, living or dead, will be purely coincidental)

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