The BSNL Management and the Government are making a big propaganda that one of the reasons for the poor service of the BSNL is the old age workers who are above 50 and are incapable to digest the new technology and are physically unfit. Hence they continue their arguments that all these workers should take VRS and leave BSNL. BSNL have asked the government for the funds for providing VRS to these 50+ workers.
This argument will seem to be correct at the first instance. Some of our comrades are also being caught in the trap. Let us examine to what extent this is correct.
1. During the last few decades, the average period of life span has increased considerably. The retirement age has been increased for Central/state/PSU etc. to 60 from 58 about 18 years back. The senior IAS officers, Judges and such personnel are allowed to continue service up to 65 years or so and allotted heavy responsibilities. The rule makers, Members of Parliament / MLA etc. are mostly above 50+ or so. Top Military, Navy, Air Force officers are all above 50.
This clearly indicates that 50+ is not an old age at all. Mentally and physically they are capable of attending efficiently to their entrusted duties.
2. Let us specially think about the physical work. The workers in agriculture, construction of buildings, bridges, roads etc., are not only young men, but also workers having age of more than even 60. The pilots, drivers of trains, vehicles, boats etc. are also not limited to young men. The same with the drivers and operators of army trucks and defence vehicles.
2. Are BSNL employees who are above 50 or so incapable to attend to their works whether physically or mentally ? Absolutely NOT. They are also capable of attending to their job effectively as in the other sectors/areas as mentioned above.
3. The important issue is that the BSNL employees/Workers should be given suitable training in the new technology and services continuously. Even without any formal training, these senior workers are capable of using mobile applications, internet, face-book, mobile banking and other related online activities. During the conferences, I have seen myself, how our senior comrades are effectively using the new technology. If they have learnt these, there is no reason why they will not learn the new technology in their own telecom sector? May be a few employees may be slow in acquiring new technology. That is a fact in every sector. But the majority can certainly absorb the technology, if sufficient training is given. It is only because they are not given suitable training, that the present weakness continues.
4. This is a challenge to the employees of BSNL. In the name old age whether they are to be treated as incapable and sent out through VRS as per the policy of the government and BSNL Management or whether they should be given sufficient training and retraining and made them to fit to the new technology. The second option means, the workers face the challenge of new technology and win. In case of those who are not able to physically attend to certain works, casual contract workers, who are comparatively young can be utilised, as is already being done.
The BSNL workers are not prepared to accept defeat and fall in to the traps of the government and the management. The challenge is to be taken effectively and show them and the people that BSNL workers are in the forefront to provide a better service to the nation. BSNL workers have made impossible in to possible in the past and they will do the same in future also.