Mumbai: 13 security guards posted at government agencies die of Coronavirus

Updated: 05 June, 2020 07:55 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

NGO appeals to CM for R50 lakh relief for families of frontline warriors who worked during the lockdown, and insurance for the over 1.73 lakh guards currently working

Madhusudan Chavan was posted at KEM Hospital
Madhusudan Chavan was posted at KEM Hospital

Thirteen security guards working for various government-owned entities asked to work throughout the lockdown in Mumbai and Thane have died of COVID-19. An NGO working for the welfare of security guards has demanded that their families be given a compensation of R50 lakh and those currently working for the government be given life insurance of the same amount.

In Mumbai, there are 1,73,040 security guards registered with the Security Guards Board for Mumbai and Thane district and are deployed at various government and civic agencies and hospitals. The NGO Siddharth Bahuudesshiya Samajik Sanstha has claimed that the guards were given only one mask and a 100-ml bottle of sanitiser.

The 13 security guards who died have been identified as Sachin Jadhav, Madhusudan Chavan, Sanjay Khadse, Sunil Narvankar, Maya Hazare, Shivaji Patekar, Ramchandra Patil, PD Kasurde, Shree Valunje, BM Shelar, Krishna Pednekar, Sanjay More and Sunil Sanap.

Mid-day reached out to the families of these security guards, many of whom were the sole breadwinners. Sonali Narvankar, the wife of Sunil, said, "My husband was posted at the ATM of a government bank in Govandi. He tested positive during a check-up at Bhabha Hospital and died on May 29. We live in a slum in Govandi. I have three teenaged children to look after. The government should help, it will be difficult for us to survive."

Identity card of Ramchandra Patil, which was issued by the Security Guards BoardIdentity card of Ramchandra Patil, which was issued by the Security Guards Board

Madhusudan Chavan was posted at KEM Hospital. "Last month, he had high fever and was found COVID-19-positive. A few days later, he died. He is survived by a wife and two kids. The government made him work during the lockdown, it should provide for his family," a relative of Chavan said.

Abhishek Ulhas Dawre, president of Siddharth Bahuudesshiya Samajik Sanstha, said, "These security guards work for a very low income. They got infected while working for the government and died, they are frontline warriors too. The State should take responsibility for their kin. We have appealed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for the R50 lakh compensation."

Dr. Shrikant Pulkundwar, deputy secretary of the Labour Department, said, "We have collected information on those who died of COVID-19 and those who are currently working to the finance department for approval. The finance department has the authority to sanction compensation and insurance."

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First Published: 05 June, 2020 07:01 IST

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