A CA by profession and employed in a French multinational, Rajneesh Jain is a RWA office bearer by default. He literally pushed himself into the job because he wanted to get into the details behind the ever rising maintenance charges of ATS Greens 1, Sector 50, Noida. "It was increasing significantly every year! I started as a member of the executive committe. I was given a small project to work on and later seeing my diligence, I was asked to contest the election for the post of General Secretary in 2015. That's how I got into the RWA," he says. Till then, he had never stood for any elections - not in school, not in college life. But Jain, a national level hockey player during school, displayed his sporty spirit and jumped headlong. And now with a list of achievements to brag about and a few lowpoints to sort out, boy, isn't he proud of it all! Here, he shares vignettes from his stint.
All for aesthetic living: One of his prime focuses was to remove eyesores from the society premises. The ground of the main gate has been re-laid with paver tiles and the entrance was beautified with more greenery. The central lawn is one area where everyone assembles. He is in the process of getting the walls along the lawn covered with beautiful tiles and is also installing energy efficient LED lights all around to improve visibility and aesthetics. Then the old common toilets used mostly by service providers like drivers, outsiders and maids are being rebuilt one by one. He has also got LED lights installed to illuminate the swimming pool. Apart from these, he and his team organised a number of cultural events like Diwali mela, X'mas bash, Republic day with huge participation from residents.
Feedback book: Yes, that's a concept he brought in at ATS Greens 1. As per this, two volunteers are chosen from each of the four blocks that make the RWA. The job of these volunteers are to keep a record of the regular wear and tear and other maintenance related issues such as cobwebs, fused bulbs, broken steps, of their respective blocks. The book is then given to the RWA management that tries to sort these out.
Sample these observations from the residential volunteers: "Need to work more on walls and grills. The cleaner is using a feather duster to clean the grills but not very effective, maybe they need to use a wet duster." Observation from another volunteer: "Lots of cobwebs on the walls especially on the upper floors. Lots of cigarette butts near the electricity meter." Or how about this: "The sensors near the C Block lifts not working. Need to repair immediately." Or, "Housekeeping supplies and tools kept under the staircase in C block needs to be more organised and should be kept hidden." Then there are other remarks that talk about "mirror inside the lift in C Block should be kept free of stains." and "the wall next to the small balcony (facing park) is dirty because of pigeon poop. That must be cleaned at least twice weekly by housekeeping."
"We are fortunate that ATS builders have used good quality construction material which means wear and tear are few here with fewer electrical issues," says Jain.
No hike in maintenance charges: Yes, this is the reason why Jain is in the RWA in the first place. Without cutting corners, he and his team under the leadership of Brig. Bali (President, RWA) have been able to do significant improvements to the overall look and feel of ATS Greens 1. And yet, they have not increased the maintenance fee for the last 2 years.
No security breach: There has not been any single instance in the past so many years when security has been breached in ATS Greens 1 - and Jain says this with pride. The security apparatus is watertight and nobody is allowed without first checking in with the home owner about the visitor's credentials. There is one guard for each block at night besides those on the gate.
I am famous: Earlier Jain along with his wife were known by residents as the couple who always go for a brisk walk together in the evening. But now, he has a better reason to be famous for. His work for the community has earned him praises from the residents and everyone knows him. "Everyone smiles at me. After 30 years in Delhi, this is a place I feel truly at home in now," he says.
Yet to find a solution: But there are problems beyond his control which needs Noida Authority's intervention. The drain outside the society, for example, remains forever filthy and stinky. It needs regular cleaning. Besides, the area outside the main gate till the corner of Ramagya School is not cleaned by Noida Authority sweepers
Has he approached Noida Authority for these? Yes, he has and that too without going to their offices. He uses the app Noida Citizen Service by Noida Authority which comes in handy to sort out issues such as leaking water supply line outside the boundary walls of the society. "Must say, the response from Authority has been very prompt," he says.
Packing it all in a day's work: Does he get enough time for RWA activities? "One has to make time," he says. "And when residents see the sincerity of your efforts, they come to your help and offer support. One has to take everybody along," he adds, "but if you are trying to work like a school principal, few would like to participate." He further adds: “It gives you lot of satisfaction and motivates you to work even more sincerely when residents appreciate your work.”
The next innings: If elected for another term, he would like to focus further on the aesthetics of the residential compound. Unlike other RWAs, election in ATS Greens 1 is a low key affair. Residents here are intelligent enough to know who to vote for. A phone call to fellow residents is all it requires for a campaign. No placards, posters and banners here. There are just about 166 flats with an average of 3 residents in each. "There is no active soliciting for votes here," he explains.
Of course, with so much to show for his work, Jain is likely to win this time too. That's the best strategy a contestant needs for a campaign.