Kolkata: The two-day strike called by United Forum of Bank Unions crippled banking services in Kolkata on Wednesday. “After three days of Eid, I needed money for an emergency back home. I had no idea about the bank strike. My train tickets are ready but I do not have the money. I don’t know what to do,” said Ebrahim Seikh, a businessman who was seen in front of Andhra Bank on Shakespeare Sarani. Anjum Begum of Bright Street had to mortgage her gold jewellery to pay the hospital bill for her ailing father. “The hospital authorities wouldn’t listen to any excuses. If I didn’t discharge my father today, the bill would have gone up,” she said.
Senior members of the bank forum regretted the inconvenience faced by customers, but said the strike had been a huge success. “The message has been delivered loud and clear. Customers have been inconvenienced but they must understand that it is for their long-term benefit,” said Pradeep Kumar Sarkar, convenor, United Forum of Bank Unions.
About 9 lakh employees of nationalised and private banks joined the strike against reforms in the sector and outsourcing of non-core services to the private sector. The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011 is likely to be taken up in the current session of Parliament.
‘Don’t be complacent after getting job’
KOLKATA: The South Eastern Railways felicitated its employee Joydeep Karmakar, an Olympian shooter, in Kolkata on Wednesday. Karmakar was presented with mementos and a cheque of Rs 2 lakh for his fourth place finish in the men’s 50m rifle prone event at the London Olympics. Another cheque of Rs 20,000 was presented to him on behalf of South Eastern Railway Sports Association. The Bengal shooter had a message for budding sports stars. “Don’t get complacent after you get a job. If we stay focused and are ready to face the struggle, then I can assure you that bigger honours will await,” he said. Karmakar also vowed to better his performance in the next Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.