What can we learn from Mauritius government employees?

I wanted to share this highly positive personal experience which we had with the government employees in Mauritius. My wife is from Mauritius and we went on a 2 week holiday to Mauritius. My wife’s Mauritian passport was expiring soon and if she did not have her passport renewed she could not come back into UK. My wife had decided that she will get her passport renewed in Mauritius and she estimated that it will take 2 days to get it. She had not checked any of these details and the reality was it would take more than 2 weeks for the whole process . So we land in Mauritius and then we go to renew her passport. There are only 3 documents required, 1 is a proof of address, 2 is her old mauritian id card and 3 our wedding certificate to update her marital status.  My wife had the telephone bill in her name, so 1 sorted and  2 documents to go.

Mauritian id card

My wife’s Mauritian id card was happily resting in the UK and it was quite likely to have expired because all citizens were being given new id cards. So we went to the id card office, we were told we need the old card or a letter from the police saying the old card is lost or stolen.

Police station

Next stop is police station, we explained the situation, the policeman immediately wrote a receipt and gave it to us. No bribes, no recommendations, no questions, no waiting, it was done straightaway.

Marriage office

We did not have our wedding certificate either. We went to the marriage office, explained the situation, obviously everything is computerised, so they found the certificate and we had a copy given to us within minutes. 2nd document done.

Mauritian id card office- part 2

We were back with the police receipt. They did not make us wait in the queue again and took us straight in. They took the application form and said it usually takes 8 to 10 days for a new card. We didn’t have that much time. The officer aware of the situation assured us that he will do his best to get it sorted within 5 days. We were still worried about the time scales for getting the passport. The officer said he has a friend in the passport office, he will speak to him and get it sorted. The officer even gave us his direct number to contact if there was any problem.

So we waited 5 days and the the id card came. The id card officer sent us to the passport office and said he has already spoken to his friend and we can go straight down to the office.

Passport office

We waited to see this person, then when we saw him, he took our documents for processing and we were asked to come back on the saturday before we were going to fly out. We went back and collected the passport. It usually takes 5 days at least but they did if for us in 2 days.

What happened next is unbelievable

We were so pleased and ever so grateful for these people. We took a thank you card and a box of chocolate each for both the officers. Both of them refused to take it and said it will be considered as a bribe. We never knew these officers beforehand and they still helped us. These officers helped us without any expectations even though we were pretty unorganised and they went beyond their jobs to help us out. I was in awe seeing something like this. But then my wife said 1 thing ” Generally Mauritian people are nice and they are happy to help each other”. No wonder they were not expecting anything.

In a million years I don’t believe that this will happen in Indian government offices. Their people were kind, approachable and grounded. Hats off to all those Mauritian public servants and Mauritian Government. All the offices were in 1 place, so it was more convenient and no time was lost in travelling between offices. All offices have CCTV cameras installed to prevent any sort of malpractice happening in the office.

Take home message for Indian government servants – If you do your job by getting bribes you only get curses along with the money  but if you do your job without expectations, you get blessings for it and that’s the greatest gift you can ever get.

Good Luck India.