The internet is a very funny and entertaining space. You put something on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and in no time the content goes viral. But what we forget is that sometimes we become extremely insensitive and inconsiderate to fellow human beings, regardless of whether we know them in person or not. Recently a video of a woman cashier at a bank working at a slow pace went viral on social media. The video was uploaded on Facebook by Balaraju Somisetty with a caption that said “fastest cashier in the world” on October 24 and by now, it has been viewed more than 13 million times, and shared over 1,54,000 times. People were quick to slam her saying it is because of such incompetent staff that customers have to wait, but not many chose to wonder why someone would do that on purpose, not many chose to give her a benefit of doubt that she might be suffering from some medical condition.
But, activist Kundan Srivastava shared the story of the woman in question. Premlata Shinde is a Bank of Maharashtra, Pune employee who is to retire in February 2017. Premlata survived a paralysis stroke once and heart attacks twice. When the video was being shot, she had just resumed her work after medical treatments, Kundan said in a Facebook post. He also said that she has enough leaves that could be availed (and get paid for sitting at home) but Premlata chose to come to work because she wanted to retire with dignity. The branch she is working at, Kundan said, has set up an additional cash counter so that she can work at her own pace and customers are not kept waiting.
Premalata, a widow, has a son who lives abroad with his family. It is indeed inspiring to know that she, like millions of women across the world, works hard to make a living and takes care of all the expenses needed for her treatment herself. It just took a minute for millions of social media users to mock her and slam her. The same video could have gone viral with a positive message.
Watch the video here
Ian Maclaren, a Scottish author and theologian, said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”