Post demonetisation, city residents have been consistently complaining about braving the crowd and chaos that they have been facing at ATMs and banks, but no one has spared a thought for the security guards who have been trying their best to handle the public frenzy.
While sharing their experience, the guards spoke of hardships being faced and hoped that this rush and public ire will dwindle quickly.
Even though some guards are aged and have health issues, still many customers shout and abuse them, besides jostling. But there is no one to listen to their concerns, including their officials, even though they are aware of the situation. Sometimes police are also deployed to manage the crowd, but according to several security guards, they often remain missing from the spots assigned to them.
“We not only do long shifts, but also the most painful job. Coming to duty is a challenge every day, sometimes I feel we are being punished as we don’t even get to take tea break or a chance to sit, we can’t even take some time out to have food. It becomes difficult to maintain discipline amidst the chaos created by people. Despite our several requests, no one cares to address our woes. We are abused right on our face and during such situations, the deployed police officials are always missing,” lamented a 39-year-old guard who requested anonymity fear of being fired by the bank he works in.
Similarly, an elderly guard, who claimed to be in his early sixties and has been working as a guard for the last 12 years in various parts of the district, shared that these are the most taxing times of his career as a security guard till date. “I am a heart patient and underwent surgery last year. I requested for a leave due to my heart condition, but it was declined. My situation is such that I can’t afford to leave the job,”he bewailed.
Another 58-year-old guard said, “It becomes arduous to stand constantly for hours, whereas the bank officers at least get to sit and work.”
For a 28-year-old, who joined as a guard just 15 days ago at an ATM, feels that it is a ‘harsh welcome’ to his first job. “I feel like leaving but my parents do not allow me to. Maybe these challenging days will make me learn and give me strength to tackle more challenges in any job in the future,”he smiled with positive spirits.
Talking to bank managers about the plight of security guards, several of them expressed that they have noted the concern and will chalk out a plan to help the guards.