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Banker’s One Foot At Work, The Other At Grave

Posted: April 21, 2020

It is not an easy job to put one’s life at risk and work effortlessly during a Pandemic. I personally believe that all bankers should get a loud applaud from the society.

India is a land of unity in diversity, especially during difficult times like the one that we are currently facing. Recently we witnessed India’s unity when people stepped out in their balconies to laud Doctors, Nurses and other Staff who are putting their lives at risk to save us. With swift actions and strict measures, the government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure nobody encounters any major problem during the Pandemic. For the first time, I sleep in peace thinking that “Our Respected PM Will Handle Everything, He Is A Strong One”.

After the lockdown was announced, within 36 hours Hon’ble  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, came to the rescue of migrant and daily wage laborers. A relief package was announced which had various slots and criteria, aimed at shielding the poor during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, all good, but there are few sectors/people who are the pallbearers – uplifting the burden of mismanagement, poor administration, and careless decisions. Though there is a lockdown, but there are people other than Doctors, Nurses, Police and Other Staff who are stepping out risking their lives and ensuring a smooth flow of work in their respective offices. Both in the government and private sectors.

Excerpt From The Government Sector: Distress in Rural India

Yesterday I was having a casual chat with one of my friend, he is working at an officer level with a reputed govt. bank. He was all praise for the rural scheme but highlighted the challenges that the bankers are facing in its implementation. With a high rate of illiteracy in rural India, bank employees are finding it a challenging task to enforce Discipline and Social Distancing norms.

At some rural area banks, there is no availability of Face Masks, Hand Sanitiser or Safety Wears. The employees are at high risk since most of the people visiting the banks come in close proximity to them. There is lack of proper administration since people are showing up at large numbers to collect monthly deposits of Rs. 500. At some branches, people are disrespecting the Social Distancing guidelines, before the bank opens there is a hoarding of 150-200 people. Most of them often carry 2-3 passbooks and want to check the balance in all accounts of their family members; all this in a hope that what if by any chance government have deposited money in each family members’ account.

Now, Rs. 500 is supposed to come every month, so this rush is not a matter of one time. The employees have to do this for the upcoming months as well. The branch manager and police are doing their bit, but the moment they turn their faces the crowd goes all haywire.

समझ  आये अब किधर जाए! एक रास्ता घर तो एक शमसान जाए! खुद को टटोलते हम वहीँ बस खड़े रह गए!! (Source: Yourstoryclub)

My friend said “We have to deal with new customers every day without any knowledge of their travel history. Also, we are exposed to poorly handled currency notes and various other documents throughout the day, which are potential carriers of the virus. Proper safety protocols and sanitization measures are majorly lacking. My family is in Punjab, nobody from my family would be able to come to my rescue if anything adverse happens.”

Shubhajyoti Chattopadhyay, the general secretary of SBI Officers Association (Bengal Circle) said in an interview “Regular footfall at the branches are far greater. Branches are more exposed to public contact and, therefore, more vulnerable in terms of getting affected by this deadly disease.”

It is not an easy job to put one’s life at risk and work effortlessly during a Pandemic. I personally believe that all bankers should get a loud applaud from the society. PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, PM Suraksha Beema Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, PM Mudra Loan Scheme, Aadhar-account linking & other Aadhar-related works, Demonetisation– Come What May, these bankers have never let us down. Now, it is our duty, to not let them down.

Excerpt From The Private Sector: Distress in Remote India

In India, most of the manufacturing and construction plants are set-up on the outskirts. The government has given permission to the Production Units to operate plants with minimum workforce. My friend work at a Cement Plant, due to the lockdown it was announced that vehicles will move only at 6.00 Am and 6.00 Pm so whoever has to go on duty will have to adjust to the timing. Now, my friend goes to the office and if any urgent work comes up and he misses the pick-up car then he has to stay in the plant for 24 hours. There was a list of 7- 10 employees, whose names were on the permission list, but along with them employees from other departments are also going to the plant on a daily basis. All this just to ensure that no equipment gets stolen.

Even though there are security guards and CCTV cameras at every exit. Instead of putting lives at risk those plants whose products don’t fall under the essential category can easily comply with the lockdown. They can arrange one person from the electrical team to go at regular intervals and check all the equipment and connections. But no, the safety of all employees is at stake here. Sanitisation, Gloves, and Masks are not an issue here, but the work hours and extra manpower are. Most of the employees here are away from their homes, who will take responsibility if anything goes wrong?

I am a common man; I am an educated common middle-class man! Normally I am lost in crowd, on my patriotism still I feel proud! Whenever there is a morality debate, I shout high and loud, otherwise you will find me like a sun hidden in the cloud!! (Source: Yourstoryclub)

My friend says “If anything happens to me, who will compensate for the loss? My name is not even on the permission list, none of my managers will come forward to take the blame. If I refuse to go to office, I will lose my Job. My salary is 28,000, out of this I give Rs. 10,000 house rent, Rs. 3000 kid’s school fees, Rs. 4000 society charges, Rs. 5000 bills and credit card EMI, the remaining amount I send it to my parents. My dad has a shop which is closed due to lockdown, brother is studying, my salary is the only support.”

I understand that in the need of the hour, the Government is doing every bit possible and taking every measure to control the deadly virus. But there are people, senior managers or administrators who are taking things for granted and putting everybody’s lives at risk. If we want things to go back to normal, each and every citizen should follow the instructions and guidelines given by the Government and strictly abide by it.

Image Credits: Pixabay

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