Our Sacrifice Is Invisible: India’s Private Security Guards 

Working 12 hours a day, 30 days a month, India’s guards tell their story on Republic Day

2 min read

What a round the clock guard means for a building or home, a hostel or ATM is a twelve hour shift, and 30 day month for one man. Often living away from their families all year and sharing rent with another fellow guard, these men be they an economics post graduate, a poetry enthusiast, or a retired army officer tell us their story.

I work for 12, or sometimes 24 or 36 hours day and hardly find any time to even wash my clothes or talk to my family who is living in a village in U.P.  I am a graduate in Mathematics Honours from BHU and have a Master’s degree in Economics. But, in search of a job I came away and here I am now standing as a guard. Now, my only wish is that I can do something for my children so that they don’t need to live a life like mine. 
Kailash Nath Singh, Private Security Guard from Chandauli District Uttar Pradesh
There is no fixed duration of how long you are made to stand, it goes on for hours and hours. Neither the people who we are deployed to protect, our company or the government want to pay attention to our situation. From one twelve hour shift to the next there is no time to take care of our families. And I am not alone. All of us are in the same plight.  
Vijender Singh, Private Security Guards

Many who have been in this profession for many years are getting the same salary as those with just one month experience.

Syed Imtiaz Haider, who has a love for poetry has been working as a private guard for 20 years earning a Rs 9,000 a month, gets the same money as his acquaintance Pawan, who is a newly appointed guard. Sometimes, his shifts stretch to 24 hours too, if a colleague is on holiday. He sends some of his income home so that the family can buy food.

I am tolerating this cold weather and just getting Rs 9,000. I do feel cold but we have to work for the sake of my family. My life doesn’t matter to anyone.This job is so risky that any day I can get killed and I don’t even have a danda to protect myself. Even if I die no one is going to care. I am giving my life to this job. 
Syed Imtiaz Haider, Private Security Guard from Champaran, Bihar

Taking pride in his work and hardships, Narendra Pandey shares a story of courage.

Once a child was running on the road and  I saw a car coming from wrong direction. I ran and caught the kid. If I was not there it could have turned into tragic accident. 
Narender Pandey, Private Security Guard from Gorakhpur Uttar Pradesh

India has 7 million security guards, five times more than police officers with an industry set to boom further by 2020

This Republic day let us unite to make a slight change in the life of these men who stand sentinel outside our gates and give them the respect and appreciation which they deserve.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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Topics:  India   Policemen   Republic Day 

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