Functions of a rapporteur


Recently, a number of news items have appeared in a section of the Press regarding my role as Special Rapporteur for the North-East in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). From these news items, it appears that the reporters filing their stories are not aware of the functions of the Special Rapporteur. Owing to this, the public as well as some NGOs seem to have gathered a hazy impression on this subject. To clarify this matter, allow me to quote, in toto, paragraph 7 of NHRC Memo. No. Z- 12029/4/2009-Estt. (Vol.II)/4972-4982 dt. 2nd May, 2013, which clearly spells out the functions of Special Rapporteurs stationed in various parts of the country:

A Special Rapporteur may be entrusted with all or any of the functions listed below: a) Investigation/inquiry into specific complaints as assigned by the Commission. b) Visit jails, police lock ups and any other place of detention, namely, juvenile homes, beggars’ homes, preventive homes, after-care homes, Nari Niketans, probation homes, or any other place as and when required in connection with discharge of his duties.c) Projects/programmes taken up in the States/UTs at the instance of the Commission or which have bearing upon human rights issue.d) Liaise with non-governmental organization(s) and other human rights institutions specifically identified by the Commission on such matters as the Commission may direct. e) Matters remitted to the NHRC by the Supreme Court.f) Monitoring of the Action Taken Report by the concerned States/Organizations/etc., on the specific recommendations given by the Commission.g) Participation in Seminars/Conferences etc., organized by NHRC.h) The Special Rapporteur may be assigned additional work including work in different region or relating to any subject by the Commission/Chairperson/Member.”

Yours etc.,

Anil Pradhan IPS (Retd.)

Special Rapporteur, NE Zone, National Human Rights Commission

Poor public relations in Airtel


If the District Transport Office in town has earned the tag of notoriety for harassing the general public then the private sector is no better. As a citizen wanting to avail an Airtel dongle connection, I called up their toll free number 121 which connected me to the respective department dealing with this matter. After informing the executive about my proposal, she said she was unable to handle my enquiries and transferred the call to her senior supervisor – who in return asked me to contact the nearest ARC (Airtel Relationship Centre) from where I can get all the details about prepaid, postpaid plans and the dongle connection. The supervisor advised me to type ARC and send it to 121 from my number – which is an Airtel connection. However, to my astonishment, on doing so I received a reply that there is no ARC in the city. Then why did Airtel provide such delusive replies at the first instance. After calling the same number I narrated the incident and the brazen senior supervisor asked me to contact a toll free number 18001030405. After dialling this number and option no. 2 to buy a new dongle, I was astonished again to hear from a lady that they have no information on dongle and ironically she asked me to contact the same toll free number. After blasting this lady for fooling customers with evasive replies she later transferred the call as usual to her senior supervisor. Now this supervisor after hearing the pathetic condition of Airtel took my request for a new connection and told me that her department and people will contact me. Later, their people did contact me but it ended there. Looking at their pathetic service I took a dongle from another service provider, now. This is the pitiable condition of our esteemed companies and my experience says that illiterate and inexperienced workers (human resource) do not even understand the enquiries of the customers are ruining the names of these Corporations. I am sure there are many Airtel customers like me who must have encountered such unwarranted and exasperating experiences. Hope this letter corrects the ills in Airtel as my intention is not to harm the brand image of the company.

Yours etc.

BC Paul

Shillong – 4

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