Hawkers & Bus Conductors


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Hawkers & Bus Conductors

  1. 1. 1 COMMUNICATION PATTERNS OF HAWKERS & BUS CONDUCTORS IN KOLKATA By Sudhish S. (09BS0002433) Surjajyoti Biswas (09BS0002482) Swarnabha Dey (09BS0002492) Sweta Soni (09BS0002524) Tanvi Drolia (09BS0002554) Anand Gupta (09BS0003064) {SECTION- E} ICFAI BUSINESS SCHOOL, KOLKATA Page 1 of 22
  2. 2. 2 COMMUNICATION PATTERNS OF HAWKERS AND BUS CONDUCTORS IN KOLKATA By Sudhish S. Surjajyoti Biswas Swarnabha Dey Sweta Soni Tanvi Drolia Anand Gupta Business Communication ICFAI BUSINESS SCHOOL, KOLKATA Date of submission: 11th August, 2009 Page 2 of 22
  3. 3. 3 Authorization The report is submitted as partial fulfillment of the requirement of MBA program at ICFAI Business School, Kolkata. Page 3 of 22
  4. 4. 4 Acknowledgements First of all, we are immensely indebted to Mr. Ashim Ghosh, Director, IBS Kolkata & Mrs. Sharbari Saha, Faculty Member of Business Communication, IBS Kolkata for giving us the opportunity to work for such an interesting project. We would be failing in our duty if we do not thank our respondents who gave their valuable time and answered the survey questions with tremendous patience and understanding. Page 4 of 22
  5. 5. 5 Table of contents Topic Page no. List of illustrations 06 Synopsis 07 Introduction 08 Communication pattern of bus conductors 09 Communication pattern of hawkers 14 Conclusion 17 Recommendations 18 Attachments 19 References 22 Page 5 of 22
  6. 6. 6 List of illustrations The study does not contain any distinct illustration. The research is based on interaction with a number of random bus conductors and hawkers across Kolkata. Page 6 of 22
  7. 7. 7 Synopsis This report analyses the communication patterns for bus conductors and hawkers in Kolkata. The main focus is on the how the conductors and hawker communicate in market to make the sale. We have tried to capture the common terms and different modes of communication used. To collect the data we have interviewed hawkers and bus conductors from different parts of the city. The report also focuses on the problems faced by people in this niche sector. Hawking is generally considered as a “menace” or an “eyesore” that prevents the development of Kolkata as a world-class city. But this article explores the essential presence of hawkers in a city, which requires a critical understanding of the functioning of public space. The experiences of hawkers in Kolkata, as elsewhere in India, have taught them not to fear a regulatory state, but a predatory one, a state that constantly demands bribe sand threatens demolition, against which a license provides security. Bus conductors are people who are responsible for the sale of the ticket and management of the crowd in the bus. We have tried to depict the communication patterns adopted by them for interacting with the public as well as the driver of the bus. Special focus is given on bus conductors in Kolkata. Bus conductors in Kolkata as compared to the other states are more responsive and caring to the public. Page 7 of 22
  8. 8. 8 Introduction The report has been prepared to understand the communication patterns and styles of two of the most interesting groups in Kolkata, the Hawkers and the Bus Conductors. The study helped remove a number of pre conceived notions about them and will certainly help understanding them and communicating with them better. Purpose, Scope and limitations: The Purpose of this report is to list out the communication pattern of bus conductors and Hawkers in Kolkata. Although the sampling has been carried out only in few places in Kolkata, the general communication pattern is more or less the same all over Kolkata. Sources and Methods: Data collected is predominantly Primary data. In preparing this report, we have interviewed conductors at several places which include Garia (no.5) Bus Terminus, 45 bus Terminus, Patuli-Ramgarh Bus Terminu (Patuli), Bus no 71. We interacted with Hawkers at places like Gariahat, Esplanade, Hatibagan, Ultadanga & Chandnichowk. Report Organization: The report reviews the different kinds of conductors and hawkers in Kolkata, analyses the different trends in their communication pattern, and summarizes them at the end. Limitations: There was time constraint as the research had to be done in a short time and Kolkata is a big and diverse city. Cost constraints were faced. Scarcity of resources was a problem. Only a limited number of hawkers and bus conductors could be interacted with. Page 8 of 22
  9. 9. 9 Communication pattern of Bus conductors : Kolkata is very well connected by buses and some buses operate very early in the morning to very late in the night. However, Kolkata‟s bus system might take a little getting used to. Bus stops are often not clearly marked out and can be distinguished by spotting a group of people standing on the road side. There are no timetables and the routes aren‟t explained so the best thing to do is wait for a bus, hail it and ask the bus conductor if the bus goes where you are headed, if not, ask him which bus you should take instead. They are usually very helpful and almost always provide the right information. The buses usually have open doors and are manned by two conductors on each door. We don‟t have to worry about paying at the door, once the bus starts moving, the conductor will spot unpaid passengers and ask you to pay. A flimsy paper ticket is given and unfortunately daily or monthly tickets are not available. Payment can vary between Rs.2 and Rs.5 (US$0.04 to $0.10) for a trip, depending on the distance travelled. Classification of buses of Kolkata: Buses of kolkata Government undertaken Private (public buses (run by corporations) and mini Buses) CSTC CTC WBSTC NBSTC SBSTC Page 9 of 22
  10. 10. 10 The basic qualification criteria for becoming a conductor in the government undertaken sector is Class 8 th standard whereas there is no such criteria for the private run buses. It largely depends on the owners of the transport. The buses in the Govt. undertaken sector generally consists of a single driver and a conductor (per bus) where as in the case of a private buses it varies between 3 and 4(1 driver,2 conductors,1 helper in case of a public bus and 1 driver,1 conductor and 1 helper in the case of a mini bus). Conductors in both the service (govt. and pvt.) are required to obtain a license from the Motor Vehicles .The conductors in the govt. service have a fixed duty hour(8 hrs approx every day),6 days a week and they are required to serve either in the Morning, Evening or in the Night Shift depending on their schedule and requirement. The private conductors have no such fixed duty hrs. They generally work for avg. 14-18 hrs a day (7 days a week). The conductors are generally of two types (sub classification)-the trainee and the permanent. In the private buses the helper is generally promoted to the place of a conductor after he gets sufficient training and deemed fit for the job. Function of a bus conductor: They generally bangs the body of the bus or use the bell of the bus for communicating with the drive They collect the money (charge of the trip) from the passengers and keep them in between their fingers after folding. They shout at their topmost volume while interacting with the passengers. Problems they generally face while interaction with the passengers: Ramesh Prasad,a conductor of Bus no-71,who has been in the profession for 7 years identified the following problems they face everyday. They feel disgusted when a passenger gives them a 100 rs note for a 4 or 5 rs ticket Page 10 of 22
  11. 11. 11 Sometime the passengers delays the payment for the tickets and gets down without paying for the ticket As this is their daily job or routine they normally don‟t indulge in argument with the passengers Their life is very hectic They usually depend on the incentives for their living. If the passenger tells the conductor to stop the bus in the middle of the stoppage the conductors get irritated. Political affiliation/union: All the private buses in Kolkata have got political backings or are affiliated to either the CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist) as CITU or the TMC (Trinomool Congress). e.g, all the private bus service in the Jadavpur area is affiliated to the CITU. Page 11 of 22
  12. 12. 12 Communication Pattern: Calcuttans on the street, more than any other city, have a term or a phrase of their own for everything under its scorching sun. No city can match it for orginality and spontaneity when you talk of a roadside lexicon. No other citizen in the world has the intensity, the passion and the sense of humor that the Calcuttan has. With his turn of phrase he is an Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw and Sukumar Ray rolled into one. Expressive, explosive and always exclusive. Following are a few jargons used by the bus conductors in Kolkata- Jargons Meaning Handicap Handicap!! A bus conductor referring to a handicapped person. baie ja,baie ja… Conductor urging the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle to the left Chepe daran,chepe basun! Conductor urging the passengers to stand/sit more closely to give space to others. Dada/Didi ticket ta baraben Conductor urging the male/lady passengers to buy the ticket. Jaldi/taratari uthun/namun Conductor urging the passengers to get up/get down quickly. Ringing the bell once/twice: Implies to stop/proceed the bus Peeprey auto-rickshaws who are multiplying in hundreds and bugging one and all Charpoka Maruti 800 Haati double-decker buses with a 'trunk' in which the driver sits; an almost extinct species Matchbox: Calcutta's first generation mini-buses that left you hunchbacked and stiff-necked. Electikey Chalao: a bus conductor's coded jargon, telling his driver to speed-break in order to jerk passengers further in, since they are all Page 12 of 22
  13. 13. 13 crowding near the entrance. Dada, je akebarey daak-ticket hoye sarcastic comment targeting Romeos who shetey galen: refuse to budge from the vicinity of the ladies seats, invariably getting 'stuck', just like a stamp on an envelope Sandow maashi: a tongue-in-cheek conductor's term describing a not-so-young lady wearing a sleeveless blouse, a la Govinda. Langras: three-legged tempos that limp along and handicap other drivers Page 13 of 22
  14. 14. 14 Communication pattern of Hawkers: According to the survey conducted by the team in the five major marketplaces in Kolkata (Ultadanga, Hatibagan, Esplanade, Chandnichowk & Gariahat) the hawkers of Kolkata can be classified into many small segments depending on the parameters like- activeness & behavior. Classification of the hawkers on the basis of their activeness: On the basis of the activeness hawkers of Kolkata are of 3 types- 1. Over-active hawkers: This type of hawkers makes unnecessary noises in the marketplace. They generally do excessive effort to attract people to them or their product. They shout unnecessarily (sometimes with a microphone), make funny comments or gestures to make their selling superfluous. 2. Active hawkers: This type of hawkers doesn‟t overdo anything to sell their products. It doesn‟t mean that they don‟t shout at all, they start calling the customers only when they perceive that the customers are coming towards their stall or about to buy something from them. They behave very politely & frankly with the customers. This type of hawkers often succeeds in retaining their customers. 3. Inactive hawkers: This type of hawkers prefers to remain silent; they don‟t do any considerable effort to attract the customers. Even when the customers come to them to buy something then also they hardly do any kind of interaction with them. Composition of different hawker markets of Kolkata: 60 50 40 Over-active 30 Active 20 Inactive 10 0 Esplanade Hatibagan Gariahat Ultadanga Chandnichowk Page 14 of 22
  15. 15. 15 Classification of the hawkers on the basis of their Behavior: On the basis of the observed behavior the hawkers are classified into two classes- 1. Well behaved hawkers: This type of hawkers generally wants to maintain a decent relationship with their customers. They behave politely, softly to their customers & want to avoid unnecessary arguments with the same. 2. Rude hawkers: This type of hawkers deals their customers very badly. If, for any particular reason, a customer leaves their stall without buying anything they get very angry & start arguing with their customers with abusive languages. Moving & static hawkers:  According to the ‘stability’ (i.e., whether the hawkers move from one place to other place or whether they remain stick to one place to sell their products) the hawkers can be divided into two classes, namely, „moving hawkers’ & „static hawkers’.  Moving hawkers frequently change their positions or go door to door to sell their products. This kind of hawkers has very good communication skills through which they can easily make good relationship with the local customers.  But Static hawkers prefer to run their business in one space only. List of Hawkers & their Pick-up lines: Hawker’s Name Monthly Items Seller Type Pick-up lines ( in Meaning in Income or Bengali) English (Rs.) buyer Hariprasad Sahukar <2,000 Lemon seller Moving “Pati lebu Takay du 2 lemons in 1 Rs. khana” only Basanti Bera ~3,500 Cooking seller Moving “Basooon…aeeee…b Does anyone utensils asooon lagbe?” want cooking utensils? Rajkumar Das ~2,500 Old buyer Moving “aeeeeeee…. Purana anyone wants to newspap khata-boi bechbe? sell old books, er, plastic Purana shishi newspaper, glass- goods, botol……aeee…kago bottles etc.?? furniture ooozzz” etc. Poritosh Mitra ~5,000 sweet seller Moving “nalen gurer sandesh Fresh sweets…. Page 15 of 22
  16. 16. 16 milbe…gujiya, chandrapuli milbe milbe….tataka tatka mistiiiiiii…..” Rocky Biswas ~6,000 Imitation seller Static “ei j didi, boudi ra, Hey sisters!!! I’ve jewelry notun notun design new designs of ache…” cloths. Bilas Kishore >5,000 chaat seller Static “Jhalmuri, bhelpuri, I sell different paprichat….kheye kind of snacks… If jan.. kheye you eat once, jan…ekbar khaben .. surely u’ll ..bar bar asben!!” return… Biswanath pramanik ~4,000 ice-cream seller Static “aeeee… kulfi Cold Ice-cream… maalaai ache….” Montu pal ~6,500 Cloths seller static “ekta kinle 100 aar Buy 1 @ Rs.100, duto nin 150 takay. Get 2 @ Rs.150 Raju Mondol ~6,000 Cloths seller static “Ek ka Do” Bye 1 get 1 free Some special Characteristics:  The time when a hawker is dealing with his first customer of the day is known as “Bouni ka time”. Usually in this time he/she doesn‟t bargain too much with the customer. At this particular situation, the hawker behaves very politely to the customer & doesn‟t argue too much as he/she may lose his/her 1st customer of the day.  Though the maximum numbers of hawkers of Kolkata are not literate enough & they are not comfortable in speaking English, it has been observed that they can easily bargain with the foreign customers. Usually they communicate with the foreigners with broken English. For e.g. Foreigner: How much is this? Hawker: 900 rupees sir. Foreigner: no. no. it‟s too much!!!! Hawker: it good… sir. Take na sir!!! Take…. Page 16 of 22
  17. 17. 17 Conclusion On the basis of above discussion it can be concluded that both bus conductors & hawkers of Kolkata have a very interesting communication-skills. Communication pattern of the bus conductors consists of the components like- 1. Communication with the driver 2. Communication with the passengers. They communicate with the driver through bell, or banging of the walls of the bus etc. They also use some special kind of jargons to communicate with the driver or other conductor(s). On the other hand, in case of communicating with the passengers only oral media is effective. Their life is very hectic. They feel very irritated when some passengers give them 100 rupees note for a 4 or 5 rupees ticket or delay the payment etc. But they don‟t normally indulge in arguments with their passengers. On the other hand communication pattern of hawkers have more variety than that of the bus conductors. Different hawkers have different levels of activeness. The level of activeness of the hawkers varies from one market to other market & it also depends on the personality of the hawkers. There are some hawkers who behave rudely with their customers, as well as, there are some hawkers who behave very politely with their customers. This type of hawkers generally uses many interesting pick-up lines to attract their customers. So, in the city of joy, Kolkata it is an absolute pleasure to watch the activities & behaviors of the hawkers & bus conductors. Their language, their behavior have become an integral part of the culture of Kolkata. Page 17 of 22
  18. 18. 18 Recommendations: It has been concluded from our research that there is a lot of pre-conceived notions against bus conductors & hawkers. We have the following suggestions for the parties involved- Parties Recommendations Bus Conductors They should have little patience. They should be able to understand and speak in Hindi also as a lot of non – localites are availing the bus services Passengers They should talk politely to the conducters They should carry change and if possible be aware of the tickets cost in advance They should be ready with the money when required They should get up and off the bus only at prescribed bus stands They should understand that the conductors are just doing their jobs, therefore, cooperate with them Hawkers They should always have a smile on their face as it affects the customer‟s response They should negotiate politely They should not force or pounce on passersby They should not block the road Should not sell unethically Customers They should not behave in a snobbish manner They should talk politely to the hawkers If not interested in buying, then atleast not misbehave One should understand that the hawkers are trying to earn their living, so please treat them like just another human being Page 18 of 22
  19. 19. 19 Attachments I. Questionnaires for the survey: FOR BUS CONDUCTORS Name Average income per month No. of family members Problems faced while interacting with passengers Political affiliation (if any) Any jargons How do u communicate with driver? How do you communicate with the drivers? FOR HAWKERS Name Average income per month How do you communicate with customers? Type of products sold Pick-up line How do you communicate with foreign customers? Page 19 of 22
  20. 20. 20 II. Pictures of hawkers & bus conductors: Hawkers of Ultadanga market Hawkers of Gariahat market Page 20 of 22
  21. 21. 21 A hawker, selling oranges at the footpath of Park Street. Picture of a bus conductor Page 21 of 22
  22. 22. 22 Picture of a bus conductor References 1. http://images.google.co.in/imgres?imgurl=http://farm1.static.flickr.com/215/512642704_f614f a6c0d.jpg%3Fv%3D0&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/arindam_thokder/512642704/&usg=_ _JHmcimzFyn9w01lOgOLzHAGjTw=&h=335&w=500&sz=90&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=hgagVvcnTGi cDM:&tbnh=87&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkolkata%2527s%2Bbus%2Bconductor%26g bv%3D2%26hl%3Den. Page 22 of 22