New Delhi. Protesting against the constant transfer between 7 Race Course Road and 10 Janpath, a set of files in the PMO self immolated yesterday. A team of 6 fire tenders were dispatched to the office, but it was too late.
“These were high grade coal files,” a firefighter lamented.
“One can tolerate only so many transfers. We may be a file, but we also have a life!” said an inconsolable kin of a deceased file.
Originally hailing from Bellary district of Karnataka, the files were part of a large family of 150, who had moved to New Delhi seeking better opportunities.
During this time, a local NGO called Coal Betterment of Indraprasth, befriended them and on the pretext of offering them jobs, rented them out for a pittance to the residents of 7 RCR. There, they were subject to humiliating working conditions, which included cover-to-cover strip searching.
The experience left them scarred – some were scratched, others perforated, and a few were never seen again.
Then the daily transfers started. A sophisticated protocol called FTP (File Transfer via Pulok) enabled pre-breakfast mass movement of files.
“We were confused and scared. We never knew when or where we would be rubber stamped. Finally the head of the family decided that enough was enough,” said a foolscap sheet which did not wish to be identified.
The coal fire has blackened the reputation of the PMO. The main opposition party was quick to latch on to the issue, “The whole filing system needs an overhaul. Honest files are transferred at least 45 times in their career. How can the Haryana DLF land-use file be in one drawer for a full 2 years? This shows that the desk drawer is a B-Team of the almirah.”
Life meanwhile goes on for the bereaved family. The coal files leave behind a Manila folder and a young box of staples.