Last week’s incident of trying to rob me at an ATM taught me some lessons on how to defend myself better.
- Do not panic. Keep your eyes open and watch the culprit’s moves.
- Stand firm, and resist as much as you can.
- The culprit may be armed and desperate to rob you. Be prepared to defend yourself.
One handy tool I recommend, is to keep a can of pepper spray hidden in your palm when you are alone like
the situation I was in. Take a look at these videos :
Not very expensive. Costs about Rs. 400 for a 55 ml can, in Amazon India.
Your safety is in your hands
It happened in broad daylight at about 0930, on Sunday, 25 April 2021, at the ATM of AXIS BANK on Old Airport Road, Bowenpally (ATM #APCN69811) .
As I was busy withdrawing cash, a middle-aged man enters the ATM from behind me, in spite of a clear sticker on the gate that only one person is allowed to enter at a time. His intentions became clear from what followed. When I started objecting and asked him to stay outside, he created a loud and aggressive ruckus, obviously to confuse me and divert my attention. Suddenly, he pounced on me and tried to snatch the money which had just popped out of the ATM. By instinct , I resisted and prevented him from grabbing my money. Frustrated by not being able to get what he wanted, he punched hard on my nose 3-4 times. This resulted in a fracture in the nasal bridge bone and very serious injury to my eye. Seeing the blood and also seeing that people had gathered outside, he quietly slipped out and fled the scene.
Of course, I called up the police and lodged a formal complaint along with what is called a MLC (Medico-legal Certificate) from a reputed hospital nearby. Now the football match between the police and others will start. The Police has other things to do.
The bank — AXIS Bank, obviously could’nt care less. The Bank is busy dilly dallying and inventing lame excuses and diplomatically-worded hollow promises.
If AXIS BANK is serious about customer safety, all that they have to do is implement some simple security measures. Here are a few suggestions to make roadside ATMs safer for users like me:
- Introduce a mechanism by which the ATM cabin can be bolted from inside. It should be possible to open it only from inside, or by authorised personnel, from outside (using a special tool).
Such latches are common in the toilets of all trains and planes.
- Provide a PANIC /SOS button plus a hooter inside the ATM cabin. The hooter/siren itself may also be placed outside the ATM cabin. Often, mobile phones may not be of help, since the culprit can easily snatch it while you are trying to dial for help.
Such “alarm chains” are provided in all passenger wagons in all trains.
- A hotline from the SOS/PANIC button to the nearest branch of the bank, or to the nearest police station, will help locate the distressed ATM easily and rush rescue teams to the ATM.
- Install appropriate sensors to detect the entry of more than one person into the ATM cabin and activate the panic hooter/siren.
- Provide CCTV cameras which monitor the street outside.
- Display prominently an emergency 24×7 phone number. And ensure that help arrives urgently. The 12 digit numbers being used now is of no value in an emergency. Use a number of not more than 3 digits like 100, 108
The above emergency SOS/PANIC number should be displayed prominently in the ATM cabin, as well as on the ATM monitor screen, and should be visible from outside the ATM cabin.
- Introduce sentries/guards and patrolling squads at all ATMs
- Introduce a more closer and meaningful relationship and arrangements with the local police and law enforcing agents.
- Regularly audit safety/security of all ATMs. Publish all security breaches and incidents and the remedial actions taken.
- Introduce pronto all other security arrangements not listed above.
- Adequately compensate the victims for any loss or bodily injury or death
- Provide insurance cover to ALL its customers for incidents like this.
I expect AXIS BANK (and all other banks) to announce the steps they have taken to improve safety and security for their customers. The bank is morally responsible to ensure the safety and security of all its customers within its premises (including all ATM cabins) .
PS: Please forward this message to your bank and to all your friends. Take care and stay safe. You can also send your suggestions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your safety is in your hands.
My new fall-back mail ID is email@example.com
This is in addition to my regular / usual mail ID of
“Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst”, they taught us in school. I suddenly remembered this wise advise when scanning my daily emails on gmail. I wanted to be ready to face the nightmare of being cut off from my emails (at gmail). I thought about the highly unlikely event that gmail becomes defunct or extinct. Or when gmail becomes inaccessible to me (password gets hacked, or gets corrupt or is forgotten). I wanted a fall-back option and wanted to make it easy for all my correspondents to bumplessly accept the change. I have now created a fall-back email-ID for myself :
This mail ID has a distinct user name (different from the earlier one). It uses my own domain name (unlike the main ID which is on gmail). Every mail you send from here, gets an autoresponse (so you know your mail has reached me). The mail is saved here (at drpartha.org.in) and a duplicate copy is forwarded to my usual/main mail ID (gmail). People have got used to prompt responses/reactions from me for all the mail they send me. And when some email goes unresponded, they may conclude that I am dead (an inevitable possibility). Although an alternative fallback ID exists, I advise people to use the main/usual ID (gmail) until I ask them to switch over to my fallback ID. You can also use the fallback ID, if you wish so. Or you can be more cautious/prudent and send a copy each to both IDs.
Although I watch both mail Ids regularly, I might be a bit slow in answering mails sent to my fallback ID.
Keep in touch,
Do you want to trust your child’s future to a fraudster ? What can your child learn from this impostor ? Shoddy and indifferent attitude born out of incompetence and ignorance ?
There are a whole lot of unscrupulous swindlers out there, to milk you dry and ruin your child’s future, Beware !
Ask this author why some words have been circled in red in the image above.
In a great honour, India is now among 50 countries that have at least eight beaches winning the clean-beach certification by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark. The list includes Puri’s Golden beach and two beaches of Karnataka, among others. Blue Flag bearing beaches are considered to be the world’s cleanest beaches. So far, FEE has awarded the tag to 4,664 beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators from 50 countries.
A beach should meet 33 stringent criteria relating to environmental, bathing water quality, educational, safety, services and accessibility standards in order to qualify for the certification.
The Blue Flag Beaches recently (Oct. 2020) certified by FEE (Denmark) include :
- Kasarkod in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka
- Padubidri in Udupi, Karnataka
- Shivrajpur in Gujarat
- Ghoghla in Diu
- Kappad in Kerala
- Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh
- Golden Beach in Puri, Odisha
- Radhanagar in Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Besides the above, you have an awesome choice of beaches to visit and serene islands for a weekend getaway (or more). The length of coastline of India, including the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea, is 7517 km. Length of Coastline of Indian mainland is 6100 km. Coastline of Indian mainland is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the west, Bay of Bengal in the east, and Indian Ocean in the south.
It can happen any time. It will happen to all. When my time comes, I do not want my friends to wonder why Partha does not answer mails or phone calls. If this ever happens to you, for an unreasonably long time :
- Try my fall-back mail ID
- Take a look at my twitter account https://twitter.com/profpartha (@profpartha)
I usually post some stuff there regularly, at least 2-3 times a week. When the tweets stop coming, the inevitable has happened.
- Call up home by phone to find out.
- Find out from my next of kin :
- inform all our common friends and contacts
(send this page to all who might be interested in knowing about me)
Thank you in advance, since I cannot thank you when the time comes.
PS: I was prompted to make this announcement when my friend passed away and I learnt about that by accident, four years later. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE ON 2020-02-10
My friend of 40 years, Kryzstof Cetnarowicz, seems to have left this world sometime ago. I got to know this sad news thanks to a chance conversation with the wife/widow of my PhD guru.
Kryzstof was a Professor at the AGH University of Science and Technology , Krakow, Poland, where I met him last in 2009.
In fact, Kryzstof had invited me for a talk on the role of non-functional specifications in software engineering, at his institute.
It was also a beautiful holiday for my wife and me. Thank you Kryzstof, may peace be with you forever.
To come, to know, to learn to part, is the sad tale of many a human heart.
Adieu cher ami.
Quand je ne serai plus la ….
There is a lot to learn from Indian TV !
- Why do Indian police stations always have a world globe on the Inspector’s desk when policemen never cross the street if the other side is not in their jurisdiction ?
- Why do they show warning messages whenever there is a scene showing smoking or drinking ? Why dont they delete those scenes altogether instead of showing those meaningless warnings ? And, why is there no warning with scenes involving other crimes like murder, bank holdup, rape …?
- Are maths teachers always grumpy , sadistic people ? Or is maths such a horrible subject ? Why do we always malign maths and maths teachers ?
- When there is a conductor in front of an orchestra, why does he seem to follow the orchestra rather than the other way around ?
- What is the blue liquid they show on commercials for sanitary napkins and diapers ?
- Why do they show toilet basins in grand detail and in closeup when they try to sell toilet cleaner liquids ? Don’t they know that most of the times these disgusting commercials are displayed during during dinner time or when people are having meals ? Why don’t they learn some decency or discretion from those selling diapers and sanitary napkins ?
- Why do they show only men for promoting products for bad mouth odour ?
- Why do they use only women for promoting under arm deodarants and rollons ? Idem hair remover creams ?
- Are sports shoes worn only by men ?
- Why do all detergents, cleaning agents etc. claim to clean 99.9 % of the dirt/germs etc ? Any one can prove or justify this precise figure ?
If you have watched some more absurdities like the ones above, just let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org.
My most pleasant memories always lead me to Macau (erstwhile Portugal colony in current China), with all my family on an assignment with United Nations University.
We decided to take souvenirs which would be useful for us always. We chose two such amazing pieces of Chinese culture (and of course plenty of porcelains): the Abacus, and Chinese chopsticks. We (my children and I) even spent several weeks trying to master the abacus. We took an abacus for each one of us.
My wife joined us when we had training sessions on the use of chopsticks ! We bought a pair for each one of us.
We will always remember our visit to Macau.
I wish we had an “action replay” button in our life. Till then, Macau will be in my dreams every day.