IIF is a result of 13 years of hard work, done 7 days a week and without any vacation during all those years. The value that IIF gives today, is achieved because of all those hard works, personal, social and professional sacrifices. During this time, I have spent over 30,000 hours for free community services, and this has helped thousands and thousands of people who come to start their life in France, as student or as expats, over the years.
Unfortunately, social media trollers do not see the hard work behind anything, neither they have any moral value to appreaciate this project. They sit behind their computer sharpenning their knife and jump on to express their frustration at the first instance, without any respect or any gratitude.
This is also a part of the Indian culture, harsh criticism, often needless, against people who are visible and famous. Most often, this is reserved for politicians, or known people who are visible in the public domain.
However, politics is a profession. People are paid for working for the society. They get a salary, their rents are paid. This is not the case with me. Politicians also need to care about public sentiments, as they need votes. In IIF everything that I do, are free social services. Actually I pay from my own pocket to develop various social tools, and spend countless numbers of hours for this. I am not paid for this job, neither I need any vote.
Everything what IIF is giving, are free value to the community which are often available nowhere else. Thus, being part of it is a previledge, and not a right. Trollers forget this. So they try to hit, thinking their place in IIF is a birthright and they can hit me as they hit the political leaderships.
Trollers are energy suckers, and takes a lot of my time in unproductive things. This afternoon for example, I kept this for distributing the IIF fund to some of those who have asked for financial aid. I am going very busy, and could not send the fund to anyone in the last one week. So this Sunday evening was reserved for that. However, instead of this, I am writing this article and and spent one hour discussing with others who felt that it is their right to throw stones at me and they are creating a better world by doing so.
Result, a few more people who could get financial assistance by this Tuesday, will wait for more days till I find some time again. I have only 24 hours a day, and I have to spend my time working to pay my rent and food, have a life and also spend some time for the social works. My children are growing up and I also need to think about them.
Hence this decision about trollers. This is to optimise my time. If someone does not like an action of mine what I did in IIF, feel free to disagree with me as long as you do it with due respect, and recognising the value that you are getting through IIF, and I will find time to reply you.
Or you can also decide to ignore it. Our group gets over 1000 new posts every month, there are close to 30,000 active members doing various things at every moment. I am spending many hours everyday, taking various decisions, small and not so small. I understand that each of my actions cannot please everyone. If you do not agree with one of the hundreds of actions I am taking every week, think about those to which you are agreeing with and what gave you the platform for which you are still here.
However, if you become a troll, make a harsh statement, an abuse or anything of that sort, that person and everyone who is supporting the troll by any means (including liking), will be removed from the group, without any hesitation.
For a troll, you are an individual, but if I get 10 of you everyday, out of the 33,000 members, I will spend my whole day only discussing with you. I cannot afford that, this is not sustainable.
By becoming more strict towards the trollers and ranters from hereon, I will be able to better manage my time, which is important for my own personal balance and also for the society I am trying to help.
Thank you all.
Q: Why IIF is run by one person only?
Because this is my project and I have invested my time to bring it here. I run this with my own vision and values.
There are also several other Facebook groups, run by other people, which are addressing the Indian or other communities. People who do not like my way of working, can join some other group where they are comfortable with how that work. I totally understand that no functional system can make everyone happy.
I have spent my life to build IIF. It is offering free value to the community without asking anything in return. If you like it, stay - if you don't like, please leave. In fact, I request all members willing to take advantages of the values offered through our free services, to read our rules.
People who are found polluting the ambiance by staying, complaining and throwing stones, are removed from the group.
Q: But is not it a bad thing if some people are removed from the group?
People who are removed are the ones who are unhappy with the administration of the group, and creating disorder through their complaints and criticisms. My aim is not to make everyone happy. Because first of all, its a voluntary work and secondly, I know none can make everyone happy. Even Jesus Christ was crucified. So I cannot neither.
Its a question of being socially productive. Because I believe that when we are socially productive, when good things happen, everyone gets the benefit of it, even those who are not in the group, as they will always remain a part of the society.
And peace of mind and keeping the focus on the right thing are fundamental for doing anything productive. Nothing good can be done if all the time and energy are spent to please unhappy people through social media discussions. Investing time this way is not the goal of IIF.
Hence removing such people is an easier solution for me to keep the focus on the right things, to save my time and have peace of mind.
Q: How can I contribute to the cause of IIF and help it grow?
There are several ways where you can contribute to this community cause. Please read this article. I have given 30,000 hours in this project at least. If you can give even 1% of that in the next one year, you will be a star in France, while helping thousands of others.
Your ability to listen and adapt is the key of your success in this, like in any office where you may have joined. And just like an office, please don't come with a million ideas and wanting to make everything better. Please come with a desire to listen and adapt. It is then, that you will grow.
Sourav Choudhury is a social entrepreneur living in France since 2003 and working for the cause of Indian community of France, since 2007. He is founder of multiple projects: the largest social network of the Indian community of France, a French language school for english speaking expatriates, this website, and few other projects.