Can’t Feed Children, Pay Fees: BSNL Employee After Salary Default
A video of BSNL employee Binu Pandey has gone viral where she is seen sobbing about the difficulties she is facing.
In the aftermath of the news that government-owned telecom firm BSNL has not paid nearly 1.76 lakh employees their salaries for the month of February yet, a video of a BSNL employee, whom The Quint has identified as Binu Pandey – a clerk at BSNL’s head office at Rajnagar, Ghaziabad – has emerged on social media.
‘Unable to Feed My Children’
In the viral video, Pandey is seen crying while talking about how she has not received her salary for the month and is not being able to feed her children. She says that other employees are not complaining as much because they have children who are earning, but her children are young and therefore dependent on her.
An unseen person in the video says that the government has not sent the salaries, which is why the company has not been able to make the payments. But Pandey alleges she had heard that salaries of some officials in the Delhi office had been paid and says that if those had not been paid, at least some other employees would have received their salaries.
Desperate Situation for Pandey
The Quint got in touch with Pandey to get more details about her situation in the wake of not having received her salary.
“I am a single mother and I survive in a hand-to-mouth situation. To me, my salary is so important that if it is delayed by even two days, my calculations fall apart,” Pandey told The Quint.
She emphasised multiple times that her salary is her only source of income and that she did not even have relatives in Ghaziabad or nearby to help her financially. Her two children are also dependent on her.
“I have two young children. My son is in Class 6 and my daughter is in Class 12. They study in a school in Ghaziabad”, she said.
When asked about what difficulties she was facing, she said that she had not been able to pay for any basic services.
“I have not been able to pay my milkman or my maid. I tell my daughter's friends to pick her up on the way to school because it is a little far and the auto also has to be paid. I have not recharged my phone either, because my salary is limited and I have to prioritise. At this moment, basic food is more important to me.”, Pandey said.
At the moment, she is making do by borrowing money from people, Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 or so. She added that she had not received any financial support from any seniors in office either since they had their own crises to deal with. “Everyone in office is in the same situation. Even seniors in office have to pay installments for loans. We are also trying to find some source of money,” she said.
She said that she had heard rumours in office that the salaries could be expected in four to five days.
“My salary [is] as much as that of a general peon. If the salary is enough to save something after expenses, that would be great, but that is not the case. Within the first week, my salary account is emptied. I’m always waiting for 10 days before my salary is due,” Pandey told The Quint.
She pointed that the employees were working as best as they could and that they deserved their salaries.
“We are doing our job to the best of our capabilities, we are doing our best to bring in revenue. But if we don't get our salaries, how long can we keep doing the job? If this is the result of doing the job, we will lose the will to work,” she said.
Video Fuels Anger on Twitter
The video was originally shared by Suraj Solanki, a journalist, on Twitter, tagging PM Narendra Modi and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, with a caption explaining what effect salary delays were having on BSNL employees. He also asked PM Modi to promote private mobile companies, but to not eliminate government companies.
Since then, the video has been shared multiple times by Twitter users, who criticised the pitiful state of affairs under the Modi government. They also lashed out at PM Modi for promoting private telecom companies and not paying attention to the government-owned ones.
Some blamed all the political leaders for the state of affairs.
Many Twitter users sympathised with her and understood her plight, blaming the politicians, especially PM Modi.
While many people on Twitter criticised the fact that BSNL had not given the salaries, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also joined the fray, and called out the failure, pointing fingers at PM Modi.
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