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Cry of bank employees during lockdown remains uncalculated

3 min read

By Dr Kirthana V

Mysuru: The coronavirus crisis has left the mankind in a highly devastated condition. Be it national bandh or demonetisation, local festival or any other events, floods or drought, the bank services are bound to open and the bank employees are expected to serve the people and the nation. Such is the service of a bank employee.

Many are exempted from their work due to current crisis but not the bank employees. A minute late in transaction is suffice to earn  the weather of the customer.

The crisis they faced

The officials were at the risk of contracting virus by increasingly getting exposed to asymptomatic/disease carrier customers, if any. There was a shortage of PPE or not available in time although a few received it initially.

Transportation was another big challenge. People in villages could not reach their work place in time. With cancellation of public transport, alternative means of transport also was not available. Services to repair broken vehicle parts was not available as all the mechanic shops were also shut. The customers who failed to wear appropriate PPE were major risk causers for officials.

No special norms were created for officials who were asthmatic or had chronic illness. However, the government exempted officials with physical disabilities from duties considering their absence as special leave without loss of pay. Since it was made mandatory for 50 per cent of the staff to be present in office, the officials had to juggle between their health and service. There was a huge surge in number of people rushing to banks only to check their bank balance, especially the financial assistance from the government; credited or not.

“Compelling them to wear mask and sanitize their hands before entering the bank was time consuming and that was the difficult issue I found till date, to deal with” said an official.

The biggest problem they faced was to maintain a balance between inward and outward money. When the lockdown was relaxed, there was a rush of customers who thronged banks to finish off their pending works and as a result there was a big line of people waiting for their time, leave alone following social distancing norms .

“As bankers, we were in trouble; we cannot deliver services as simple as it looks”
said a senior official

Aid from Government

Provision was made for only 50 per cent staff with relaxation in working hours during later stages of lockdown. Disabled employees were given special leave with loss of pay and the working employees were provided with personal protective equipment. Limited customer entry to bank and sanitation was made compulsory before entering.

Recommendations

An outlet in the bank premises to update the status of amount deposited and entries is advised. The food and beverages along with periodic health monitoring of bank employees including thermal scanning of customers. The common points of contact like door knobs, railings should be cleansed every two hours with disinfectant. The staff irrespective of cadre should be educated on the need of hygiene and sanitation. Maintaining distance of minimum one metre amongst officials, customers and official customers is essential. The mental health of employees should also be taken care of as they undergo tremendous stress.

– Team Mysoorunews

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