It is a touching story to talk about compassion based appointments in Banks where this practice was in vogue for decades before it was withdrawn at the behest of the Government of India for some political reason or the other totally unmindful of the agony and plight of the dependents of the deceased employee, say family as a whole. Infact what happened was that the two armed guards at I.I.T. Branch of State Bank of India were killed by the assailants who attempted robbery at the branch during the night hours to loot the huge cash in the Bank’s Strong Room. The two guards offered enough of stiff resistance to see that the Strong Room was safe but in the process of fight both of them had to lay down their life. Primarily Bank was their concern and not their life, committed as they were to the organisation they were serving. Necessary initiative taken and there was a huge gathering in the lawns of Kanpur Main Branch which was a major part of the Bank’s Local Head Office before it was shifted to Lucknow much later. The then Secretary & Treasurer V.G. Mahadevan alongwith the other members of the Circle Management Committee attended the condolence meeting at my instance and there I vehementally raised the demand that dependents atleast one each from the family of the two martyrs be offered campassion based appointment in the Bank. This demand was surprising and shocking too to the Secretary & Treasurer and the other members of the Circle Management Committee as there was nothing like such a provision in the Bank, not even a solitary precedent. I was insistent on the demand so raised by me and saw to it that it was acceded to by the Secretary and Treasurer finally amidst a thunderous applause as from the huge crowd.
After the said compassion based appointments were cleared and confirmed by the Central Office of the Bank at Mumbai there were huge cries from the ranks from all the circles throughout the country and even branches abroad and there was a mounting pressure on me from all quarters to further pressurise the top management of the Bank in my the then capacity of the Secretary, All India State Bank of India Staff Federation. I tried hard and after several rounds of talks with the top management of the Bank and the Government of India, the issue was finalised by generalising the scheme to all the branches of the Bank and necessary instructions issued to all the offices and branches of the Bank. This was historically a grand mark of achiement on the part of ALL INDIA STATE BANK OF INDIA STAFF FEDERATION (AISBISF) facilitating a job to a gigantically large number of dependants of the deceased employees or even those critically sick to the point of incapacitaion.
The very grounds on which this scheme remaining the same in toto on date and even in days to come remaining the same, what compelled the Government of India to do away with the same is an astonishment smacking of a great suspense peremptorily warranting amends, it does need a quick reversal if not with the requisite improvements, at least what already obtained for several decades has to be resurrected in a quick measure. Nothing like a political gimmic, it’s a noble cause.