Aug 20, 2016

Times Have Changed

Note: Got this photo from Social Media and the original owner of this photo or the document shown in this picture is unknown. Somebody while doing a clean-up at home or while going through the old documents of parents or grandparents must have found this.  

This document is in Marathi showing the details of expenses incurred on Wednesday, 13th October 1971, on account of Diwali and shopping was done from Itwari Market, Nagpur. 

This person seems to have taken Rs. 94 as festival advance from his office and has incurred expenses of Rs. 43.11 on 13.10.1971 and after shopping, he/she has taken Rs.50.81 back at home. In the end, he/she seems to be upset since there is a  major (yes indeed!!!) difference of 8 paise (Rs. 0.08) in the whole calculation. It's a fun to the see the prices of various goods in 1971. 

Since this document is in Marathi, I have translated the calculation part into English which is as under:

Festival Advance Received
₹ 94.00

Groundnut Oil 2 Kg.
₹ 9.00
Dalda Vanaspati Ghee 500 gms.
₹ 3.00
Whole Wheat 15 Kg.
₹ 14.50
Chana Daal 1 Kg.
₹ 1.25
Toor Daal 1 Kg.
₹ 1.95
Poha 500 gms.
₹ 0.90
Sugar 2 Kg.
₹ 4.20
Rice 2 Kg.
₹ 2.75
Hamam Soap
₹ 0.75
Agarbatti Packet
₹ 0.31
Rava 1 Kg.
₹ 1.25
Dried Shredded Coconut Flakes 125 gms.
₹ 1.00
Cloves and Cardamom
₹ 0.50
Potato 500 gms.
₹ 0.30
Misc. eatables for Kids (खाऊ)
₹ 0.25
State Transport Bus Fare
₹ 1.20
Total Expenses on 13.10.1971
₹ 43.11

Cash Balance to remain in Hand
₹ 50.89
Actual Cash Balance in Hand
₹ 50.81
₹ 0.08

After having a look at these price levels, we come to know how valuable these coins must have been at that time. 

Having said this, I don't want to comment on whether the cost of living was very cheap at that point of time, since it has to be looked in connection with the level of earnings at that time. This person has taken Festival Advance of Rs. 94 which logically must be the Salary in Advance before Diwali. So the salary of this person must be in between Rs. 100 to Rs. 125 or so. And he has spent Rs. 43 on groceries which is  almost 35% of the salary (assuming it to be Rs. 125). If we compare this to the level of earnings and prices today, I think in percentage, it must have come down drastically. People say that things like Radio, Bicycles, Fans etc. were so cheap in those days. But at the same time, it's a fact that hardly anybody was able to afford those goods.

Equally it is true that even after dramatic increase in spending power, people have forgotten the happiness in these small things. I still remember the day when we got a refrigerator at home, the day when we bought a 2-in-1 cassette player with radio (AM & SW frequency only, no FM) and the day when our BSNL (DoT in those days) landline got installed at our home. Till late 80's, I remember when somebody gave us whole Re.1 (अख्खा १ रुपया ), we used to be so happy since a lot of chocolates with assortment used to come by spending Re. 1.   

I keep on telling my 6 year old son that these guys nowadays have to buy all the happiness and they won't ever would be able to understand the fun that we used to have in those days, which used to come free of cost. 

Sleeping on the terrace at night during summer looking at the stars, waking up at midnight sometimes due to a slight drizzle, enjoying the Ice Cream from the hawkers in those special glass cups, people coming out for having a chat with neighbours in case of power failures at night, entire neighbourhood gathering at someone's place to watch a TV, watching 4 movies in a row when VCR is rented for 12 hours, using neighbour's drawing room to accommodate marriage guests, watching election coverage on Doordarshan only for the movies shown for those 2-3 days of counting, news breaks when tough cricket match is on the climax, TVs being arranged in marriage halls on Sundays so that guests should be able to watch Ramayan / Mahabharat (else the attendance used to be poor) are only some of the things which give me the nostalgic feeling. 

Nobody was ashamed to ask a cup of milk or a bowl of sugar when unexpected guests dropped in, since on some day or the other, everybody had to ask the help from each other.

All these things are impossible to be understood by the younger generation. But they are not at fault in this. 

Times have Changed!!!! People have Changed!!!

Sep 6, 2015

EESL Distributing 7 W LED Bulbs through MAHADISCOM @Rs.100

Yesterday, we came to know that MSEDCL (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited) or MAHADISCOM is distributing 7W LED Bulbs for Rs. 100 through it's various offices in Nagpur. To start with, it was hard to believe, since the cost of 7W LED Bulb in open market is approximately Rs. 400 each. When we went to the MSEDCL counter, we noticed the huge rush there, even though at least I haven't seen any major advertising campaign to promote this scheme. Under this scheme, each customer can purchase a maximum of 4 LED bulbs, by producing the copy of latest electricity bill and ID proof like Aadhaar Card in the name of the customer with same address. Even the instalment scheme starting from Rs. 10 per month per bulb is available, for which you need to pay Rs. 5 extra. What else do you want? We purchased 4 LED bulbs by paying Rs.400 upfront. The bulbs that we got are manufactured by Orient and they come with 3 year warranty as well. 

This is a an excellent initiative by our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. In an article on his website (click here for the link), he has mentioned that it is much more economical to conserve power, than to produce power. However, he has added that it is much more difficult to conserve power, than to produce power, because while one producing entity can produce a large quantity of power, it requires an active participation from crores of people to conserve that amount of power. Therefore, he has called for generating awareness among people for the same. He has called for extensive involvement of celebrities and eminent citizens in these programmes, who could motivate people to adopt LED bulbs. So I am involving myself by writing this article, being an eminent citizen :)

Moreover, the cost of each bulb is not coming down only due to any Government Subsidy, which is always detrimental to the economy, but the price is less also due to bulk procurement directly from the manufacturers. 

The estimated annual saving per year is around Rs.162. This means that the payback period of a bulb costing Rs. 100 is around 7.5 months, the warranty being 3 years and expected life being much more than that. So it is the direct saving for each household. Moreover, environmental benefits are huge reducing the overall carbon footprint as well. Indeed, our PM is a visionary. The scale of this project can be understood once you know the numbers. 7 crore LED bulbs (70 million) are being distributed in Maharashtra alone. 

MoS (Independent Charge) for Power and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal ji also deserves the applause for implementing this scheme.

MSEDCL also has warned that if any person gets caught re-selling these LED bulbs, then penal action will be taken.

You are requested to share this post so that more and more number of people are aware and we can maximise the benefits of this scheme. 

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