The Central Working Committee meeting of E.III N Union held at Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, from 5th to 7th April 2000 was very important organizationally as it took various decisions including to publish a Hindi journal by name BSNL Swar, prepare for the membership verification, participate in the strike on 11th May 2000 called by the National Platform of Mass Organisations and holding a Joint CWC of like minded unions.The CWC was inaugurated by Com.Basudeb Acharya M.P., who is always a well wisher of the union.
After a well attended Press Conference, we went to the Indian Coffee House which was nearby in the State Government building complex. Wherever I go on tour, our comrades take us to Indian Coffee House, where you will get south Indian meals, iddli-sambar etc. Though I am not very particular, the local comrades make it a point feeling that it is my choice. Of course there is the pleasure of meeting some Keralites and talking to them in Malayalam, since most of the ICH workers including managers are from Kerala. In almost all the India Coffee Houses you will see a big photo of Comrade A.K.Gopalan on the wall with a garland. It has got a background. The Coffee Board which was running the Coffee Houses all over India, decided to close them. Com. AKG, then an M.P., took up the issue with then Prime Minister Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru and decision was taken to hand over the same to the workers. The workers formed co-operative societies and operated the Indian Coffee Houses efficiently charging only reasonable prices. I went to the Manager who was a Malayalee, spoke to him and some of the workers. One of them was from Calicut itself. Had tasty meals.
Then started to Delhi by train with other Delhi comrades including Coms. R.S.Chauhan, H.L.Makkar as also some other comrades going to Ujjain, Agra etc. At Nagpur Railway Station we got down for a cup of tea. When we returned, Com. R.S.Fauzdar, Circle secretary UP West, found that his suit case was missing. We all searched here and there, enquired with other passengers. But the suit case was gone. Stolen. There was some money in the suitcase in addition to dress etc. When you are alone in a journey, you are careful to look after your luggage and other things. But when you are in a company, you become careless.
Com.Fauzdar was much worried. Others discussed together and found out a way. Some money was collected and gave the same to Com.Fauzdar for his own-ward journey from the station, though he protested. I had two suit cases with me. I gave one to him. At least we were able to console him, though his loss was much more. Still, it was only when getting down at Agra and parting from us that we could see a smile on his face, though a sad smile of embarrassment. I hope Com.Fauzdar will excuse me for narrating the story.