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Despite Nationwide Lockdown, People Employed In Health And Financial Sector Continue To Provide Services

Highlights

  1. Financial services, healthcare sector continued operation during lockdown
  2. Managed 100% ATMs with 50% less employees: State Head, Securevalue India
  3. Doctors, nurses have been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19
New Delhi: 

India has been in a state of lockdown and almost every sector has been affected by the closure of so many services. Financial services have carried on and so has the healthcare sector in spite of the challenges of operating in a lockdown. Banks have ensured their ATMs don't run out of cash and even sent automated teller machines into containment zones. This has largely been possible due to the exemplary work of men and women who made it happen by going beyond the call of duty.

Every time during the lockdown someone's needed to withdraw cash, they've had access to their money. This has happened because, in so many places, staff who service ATMs have made it happen. Their employers have also ensured that the challenging times don't lead to a shortage of currency notes for anyone who wants to access their money.

Their service has drawn praise from RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, for maintaining currency flow throughout the lockdown.

On an average, ATM operations stood at over 91 per cent of full capacity. The average availability of Business Correspondents (BCs) is over 80 per cent. Regional offices of the RBI have supplied fresh currency of ₹1.2 lakh crore from March 1 till April 14, 2020 to currency chests across the country to meet increased demand for currency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Banks have risen to the occasion by refilling ATMs regularly, despite logistical challenges, the RBI Governor said.

Stanley Johnson, the head of Banking Outsourcing company AGS Transact Technologies, told NDTV, it's been a logistical challenge that they've been able to overcome.

We have done this at the request from various banks. We have done eight to ten mobile ATMs which have been sent to lockdown areas where customers can come to the ATMs and withdraw the cash. We will release ten to twenty more vehicles which will service customers in lockdown areas, he said.

Sunil Mhatre, the State Head of Securevalue India added,

We have 50 per cent less employees coming to work but we are managing 100 per cent ATMs. They have problems commuting. We send vans to their home and then we bring them to the office. We are sanitizing all cash vans.

Along with banking and financial services, the healthcare sector has seen immense pressure. Doctors and nurses have been at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic and have been doing their jobs day in and day out. That includes housekeeping staff at hospitals, pest control management and even security guards. While in some places essential staff has refused to come in, people like Karan Solanki say they are happy to help in fighting a battle.

Karan Solanki cleans hospitals for a job and is currently working at SRCC hospital in Worli. His agency SIS says, getting people like him to work is essential to fight COVID-19, especially at a time when healthcare workers have faced stigma on suspicion of being exposed to the virus.

I am handling COVID patients for the last 15 days. I spoke to my family and then I decided to come and work with COVID patients. I have worked at the children's hospital for one and a half years. I have never seen an issue with a virus like I am seeing today. If I stop working now there is no need for me to work, Karan Solanki told NDTV.

Rituraj Kishore Sinha, Group Managing Director at SIS told NDTV,

These staff members, they are actively working at hospitals. You know the security staff outside the hospitals and even within the wards, the cleaning and facility management staff is managing to support doctors and nurses do what they ought to be doing. So these are unprecedented times and all the workmen and frontliners are brave hearts who are rendering selfless service.

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