Working in the Times of Pandemic: People digging into their savings to meet expenses amid lockdown, says Ludhiana-based banker
Around 20% of the requests we receive on daily basis are ones wherein people want to withdraw money from the deposits they had been adding money into for years, says city-based banker Savleen KaurUpdated: Apr 28, 2020 19:11 IST
The coronavirus lockdown has brought a lot of financial distress with people digging into their savings, closing recurring deposits (RDs) and fixed deposits (FDs), says Savleen Kaur, who works as a single window operator with Punjab National Bank’s Haibowal branch.
“Around 20% of the requests we receive on daily basis are ones wherein people want to withdraw money from the deposits they had been adding money into for years,” says the 29-year-old banker.
Kaur, who is mother of a two-year-old girl, says that performing duties while taking all the precautionary measures remains a challenge for the bank employees as many visitors have an unheeding approach towards social distancing. “These days, we only allow four-five people to come inside the bank at once, but asking the elderly, who largely come to withdraw their pensions, to wait and follow the social distancing is quite a difficult task for us,” Kaur said.
‘CUSTOMERS DEMANDING NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES’
While the banks are largely providing basic services, the bankers are still receiving requests for non-essential services from the visitors, including entries in passbooks. “People are used to get entries in their passbooks whenever they visit banks. Even these days, every second visitor asks for the passbook entries, but we politely turn them away as a safety measure and inform them about several digital features that are made available by the bank for their convenience,” banker Kaur said.
On the Union finance ministry’s proposal to deposit Rs 500 in the bank accounts of women who are beneficiaries of ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’, the city banker said that many account holders are yet to receive the amount. “The relief of Rs 500 that the government had announced last month is leading to a major confusion and chaos among the beneficiaries as many have yet not received the amount in their accounts. The beneficiaries are visiting the banks seeking information about the credits everyday,” she said.
‘LIFE HASN’T SLOWED DOWN FOR ME’
Though life has slowed down for many amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Kaur says she remains occupied throughout the day. “I am working on a tight schedule these days and it has not been easy. As no helpers are coming to work these days, I do all the household chores on my own after coming back from work. Besides, I help my daughter, who had joined a preschool last month, with her homework,” she said.