English Tamil Hindi Telugu Kannada Malayalam Android App
Tue. Oct 4th, 2022
0 0
Read Time:6 Minute, 17 Second

NEW DELHI: A businessman trapped in an elevator for a few minutes last month at The Close North, an upscale condominium in Gurgaon, sought payback for his ordeal. When he walked out, his first res ponse was to slap the guard who had helped open the door, repeating it three more times as the frail, shaking figure in uniform cowered and retreated.
The man he slapp ed, Ashok Kumar, could have snapped just as easily if he wasn’t scared of losing his job. Ashok was towards the end of his long, tiring and typically thankless workday. His shifts run fo r 12 hours daily. An off day is rare. At the end of the month, he takes home a salary of Rs 15,000. With this, he must run a family, save for his daughter’s wedding and pay the tuition fees for his two sons. He did get an apology after an FIR was filed against the businessman and swallowed the humiliation of returning to work at the same place. “There was no other option. I have to make peace with it,” says Ashok, who migrated to Gurgaon from Auraiya, UP, 10 years ago and has since been working as a guard.
Around a week before Ashok was slapped, Anup Kumar an d some of his fellow guards at Noida’s Jaypee Wishtown were at the receiving end of choicest expletives from a 35-year-old lawyer, who was livid that there had been a mome ntary delay in the gates being opened. The lawyer was arrested and later released on bail, but Anup will carry the scars of the exchange for a long time.
In gated communities, the preferred housing template for NCR, guards are an indispensable component to regulate the gates, watch over common areas and manage reception at tower lobbies. But while the societies get plusher by the day as realto rs pack in luxury features, guards are everyone’s necessity and no one’s priority.
NO ALLOWANCES, MANY DUTIES
At Rs 15,000 a month, Ashok is at the upper end of the salary spectrum — the average, in a region where cost of living is high, is Rs 8,000-10,000. An unscheduled off, even delays in reporting for work, means a salary cut for most guards. There are no medical allowances. On the job, guards discover many add-ons to the job description — like the expectation to be obsequious and sa lute every time ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ walks by, open the car’s door, carry a bag of groceries, call an auto, escort ‘baba’ home from the school bus, etc.
Ankit Kumar, a relative newcomer to the job, says he learnt quickly that he needs to salute to stay out of trouble. “My supervisors received some complaints that I did not stand up and salute. Some residents scolded m e for not properly greeting them. Now, I make sure I do that,” says the 21-year-old, who works at a condominium in Gurgaon.
Laukesh Singh, who is from Dausa in Rajasthan , says it’s the sight of a guard dozing off that appears to rile people the most. “Some of us fall asleep due to fatigue. All our time is spent outdoors, without a fan and very often in direct sunlight. It’s exhausting,” says the 23-year-old, who is preparing for the armed forces.
“We also get caught in ego battles,” says Kaali Prasad (50), a veteran. “ If one resident wants me to carry his bags, another will ask why I’m not at my post at the gate. How can I be in two places at the same time? But talking back is not an option because the agency will fire me if it receives complaints,” adds Prasad.
SMALL PLAYERS, BIG PROBLEM
There has been an explosion in demand for guards, driven by gated communities and sprawling office buildings. At present, the industry employs more than 90 lakh workers, with another 30 lakh expected to be added to the workforce by 2024. Business research agency Freedonia expects the industry to grow at nearly 15% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) to touch Rs 1. 6 lakh crore by 2024,doubling from Rs 80,000 crore in 2019.
The sector is governed by the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005 but nearly half the workforce, mostly migrants from ru ral areas, are employed by small players who offer abysmally low salary and poor working conditions. “Generally, the hiring pool comprises young unemployed youths and retired defense p ersonnel. They are entitled to benefits like health insurance, minimum wages and days off but since many players are unorganised and make money through exploitative tactics, violation of policies is very common,” says Col Rohit Chaudhry, mentor and advisor at the Gurgaon-based Eagle 4 Security Solutions.
THE NEW ELITE PRIVILEGE
The rude behaviour that guards face is also a product of this housing template that has created a new class of “urban elite”, for whom gated community living is like an earned privilege — especially for a middle class moving up the income ladder — accentuating the sense of entitlement and reinforcing the idea of superiority and ‘lesser beings’. “We are still a very uneq ual society. There’s deep conditioning of minds, stemming from the prevalence of the caste system, that evaluates people by the level of the social hierarchy they are in,” explains Nandani Sundar, professor of sociology at Delhi School of Economics. “This feudal mentality, along with the class divide, causes discriminating behaviour where certain jobs or p eople are seen not as co-workers or fellow citizens but as a section that is meant to serve those above them in the hierarchy. ”

Source link

For more news update stay with actp news

Android App

Facebook

Twitter

Dailyhunt

Share Chat

Telegram

Koo App

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: