The fire episode

This was during PGPM days. Few shanty houses in the adjacent colony was gutted down in an overnight fire. The very morning students organised relief materials and a corpus for financial aid. I also negotiated a matching commitment to the corpus from the college administration.

I was out of the city the next few days. By the time I was back, I learnt that the amount that was collected was given back to the donors. The matching contribution included, every family would have received around 5K INR. Money that could have provided succour to the affected families.

The inability of the decision making body comprising of few students to come up with a solution that could prevent possible abuses resulted in the consensus decision of giving the money back. A textbook bureaucratic response to a humanitarian situation by a group of educated well meaning smart people. The incident lingers and makes me think still.

Execution is messy. Do not let perfect get in the way of progress.