GUWAHATI, April 2 - At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s �Main bhi Chowkidar� campaign � showcasing himself as a security guard of the nation rather than a VVIP � is sweeping the country, many youths from across the State who are languishing as security guards in State capital Guwahati, have made a strong pitch for better remuneration and job conditions.
�I came to Guwahati around ten years ago in search of a job and got engaged as a security guard at private establishment. Since then I have been at the same job. The reason which made me migrate was a financial crisis in my family. We do not have adequate cultivable land and at that time I could not even gather enough capital to start a business. I came to Guwahati for a better life, but my dream remains unfulfilled,� said Mantu Deka from Nalbari, a private security guard.
According to Deka, who has a long experience as security guard, most of the youths working as security guards in the city belong to very poor families.
�It means various welfare schemes of the government are yet to touch a large section of the common people in rural Assam. Due to various reasons including natural calamities, the crisis of farming land has deepened day by day and unemployment is burgeoning at a rapid rate. The job of the security guard will be more secure if there is a proper policy for our welfare � something that can also take care of our social security,� he added.
�I have just completed my higher secondary classes. Due to a financial crisis at home, I came to Guwahati just after finishing my final examination and got the job. Now I don�t know whether I can continue with my studies or not because the duty time is too long and salary is rather low,� said Madhurya Dutta from Jorhat, who has completed one month as security guard in the city. He said many boys of his age now working as security guards in the city were unable to continue with their higher education due to financial crisis.
�We are working at some aristocratic private entities but our condition is not good. Most of us get only Rs 7,000 as monthly salary, which is not enough to even manage one�s basic needs in a city,� he added.
Another private security guard, Baikuntha Kalita said, �I came to know that many politicians wrote chowkidar before their names in social media. It is a matter of pride for us. But our leader should also show genuine concern for our problems and initiate measures to address those.�
He said there is an urgent need to make a rule so that all security guards of the city can get at least Rs 10,000 per month as salary along with other facilities.
Rajib Deka from Nalbari said, �My family was badly hit by the floods and I have no option to earn a living back home. As we have no cultivable land, ultimately I had to come to Guwahati in search of a job. But my future is not secure and my salary not enough to ensure a decent living for me and my family. There is a need for proper implementation of all government schemes so that the lower middle-class people of my homeplace can get real benefits.�
�Life of a security guard is not easy in Guwahati. Many of us joined this job because of financial crunch and we could not continue with our education. We toil hard and also yearn for a good living. The government should intervene in this matter,� said Brajen Kalita, another security guard working at a showroom in the city.
Speaking on a similar vein, Bitopan Mili urged the government to enact a law on regularising the duty hours and a decent salary for private security guards of the city.