Ludhiana: PSOs look for alternatives as pandemic deprives them of income
With marriage palaces shut and no events being organised in the city, PSOs have been forced to change their vocation for run families. With most of them struggling to make ends meet, some have turned towards farming.Updated: Aug 07, 2020 22:56 IST
At a time when the Union and state governments are making unlock announcements, the unprecedented lockdown continues to adversely prevail upon the livelihoods of personal security officers (PSO) working in security agencies.
With marriage palaces shut and no events being organised in the city, PSOs have been forced to change their vocation for run families. With most of them struggling to make ends meet, some have turned towards farming.
Inderjit Singh Grewal of Rattan village, Pakhowal, who has been working as a PSO for around 12 years, has turned to farming. “Everything was going well, but the lockdown affected businesses drastically and a large number of PSOs lost their jobs in one go. We had two acre land in the village, which is not enough, so I took 14 acres more on lease for sowing paddy.”
“The incomes have shrunk but the expenses have not. It has become difficult to meet fixed expenses including electricity bills, fee of children and household expenses. I have two children, a wife and a mother to look after and the income in the farming sector has also shrunk. But the government is not paying heed to the problem,” added Grewal.
The PSOs are seeking relief from the government and have also demanded that restrictions on gathering in marriages/events be eased so they can get back to work.
Another PSO, Balihar Singh, said, “I have been working in the sector for over a decade and have worked in different locations including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, but I have never witnessed such conditions. I am now back home in Amritsar and have started a low budget dairy farm for earning a livelihood. The income has reduced from ₹35,000 to just ₹15,000 and we are struggling to make ends meet. The government should at least provide some monetary relief as every other business has reopened, but lockdown blues continue to affect security agencies and PSOs.”
Secretary, Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) and owner of Black Ace Security, Mohinder Pal Singh Bhatia, said, “The pandemic has affected the business badly. The owners of security agencies have been supporting the PSOs, but with no demand in the market, the PSOs are forced to do odd jobs, While some have gotten into farming, a few are working as guards or drivers. The government should pay heed to their problems as hundreds of families face a dark future.”