GUWAHATI, March 30 - State Bank of India Officers Association (North Eastern Circle) today urged the government to ensure safety of all bankers at the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
�We bankers have been rendering our services for the public at large jeopardizing our lives. We have been trying every possible action to ensure that the basic banking needs of the countrymen and the government do not come to an abrupt halt. However, in spite of putting our all efforts, we have been facing several constraints in the course of our daily activities, like sufficient number of hand sanitisers, masks, gloves, etc., are not available in the market and as such we have to face the customers and handle the bank notes without enough protection. We have explored all the possible avenues from our end to get the mentioned safety equipment but all our efforts proved to be futile,� it said in a statement.
The Association added, �Under the given circumstances, we understand that facing numerous customers and handling cash, which could be a major carrier of germs, is a very risky proposition. Here, we state in clear terms that all the bankers have risen to this occasion and have been serving the customers flawlessly treating it as a national call, but at the same time no one can deny that the bankers are in serious jeopardy owing to the non-availability of the safety equipment.�
It said the bank officers and employees had to face the wrath of the police deployed in the streets. �Perhaps the police personnel were not properly counselled by the administration that our job comes under the Essential Services Maintenance Act and any restriction in our movement will act as a hindrance in rendering our services. We wholeheartedly appeal to the government and the administration to initiate the corrective measures in this regard so that the necessary safety equipment are made available to us at the earliest, so that we can work without endangering ourselves to the risks associated with the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 virus. Further, we put forward our request to make sure that the bankers are not harassed anywhere by the police while commuting,� it added.