I left home at 5:00 to catch a bus to Bhiloda. Why am I going to this small town located 130 kms from Ahmedabad near the Rajasthan border? I’ll be working as a summer intern at Rural Shores, a Rural B.P.O which is one of its kind in the world. A colleague is waiting for me at the bus station however the bus leaves earlier than I had expected and I miss it by 5 minutes. As there won’t be any other bus to the city before 7 am I take a bus to Himatnagar the headquarters of Sabarkantha district situated 84 kms from Ahmedabad where the town is located. Sabarkantha district is located in northern Gujarat touching the Rajasthan border. I reach Himatnagar on time but have to wait for an hour and a half for the bus to Bhiloda.
After travelling 50 kms from Himatnagar I finally arrive at Bhiloda. It is a typical small town of Gujarat. It is located on plains but you can see some mountains in the background. It is much cleaner than Kadiri and has proper roads. The bus station is in the center of the city. The bus station is surrounded by markets covered with umbrella shades. My office is located at a 2 min walking distance from the bus station. It is in a residential area and you won’t be able to recognize the office at first as it is located on top of a house! As I enter the office and record my entry in the register, I notice the existence of bio metric technology. The employees have secured cards which lets them enter the office after recording their attendance. Now I know why they say that the technology is entering the rural areas of our country ;). As soon as you enter the office you’re engulfed in the clatter of keyboards. It’s the kind of noise you hear in the Bourne movies when they show the agents working their way towards another unsuccessful attempt at capturing Bourne at the CIA office! Well for us, it is the village folks typing their way towards success at Rural Shores!
The workplace consists of a large hall. It has a security cabin, the Center Manager’s cabin & a UPS & Server room apart from an arrangement of computer desks which can seat 60 agents at once. The agents are engaged in processes such as data digitization of customer application forms, processing of invoices, sms call back to customers and so on. Its the kind of work which they can do easily. On one corner of the workplace there is a process manager guiding his associates on the white board about the new project their team would be taking up. On the other corner there is the center manager taking feedback from an associate on the error diagnosis they did the previous day. Its a typical office like environment and everybody is busy in their work. The working hours are between 7 am in the morning and 12 at night depending on the processes the agents are involved in.
I’m staying at a place couple of meters from the office. It is a large (can fit in 4-5 people easily) & well furnished room. The comforts of my room are further enhanced by the uninterrupted electricity supply (well its Gujarat!). The only thing that is missing is an air conditioner which could have made it a five star accommodation! I put my luggage in the room and go back to my office. There I take a computer desk near the window, open my laptop and begin my 2 month journey at Rural Shores Bhiloda center!