Manoj, Security Guard, AUD

He is 45 years old and educated upto class 8th. His employer is Rakshak, a security agency. His wages depend on the tenders that the university auctions out to contracting agencies. The terms of the tender may change from year to year. He works 8-hour shifts from 6am till 2pm, and reaches home at 3:30 and earns Rs. 6500-7000 depending on whether he takes on extra shifts. Before this he was working in Delhi University, earning 7000, but he also had PF and ESI. For this he had to work 12-hour shifts. The job ended when the new tender required a complete overhaul of guards and their replacement. He recalled that while he was in DU, the administration prohibited guards from sitting while on the job and removed all the chairs. We spoke to Manoj a few days after the teachers at AUD had held a public meeting addressing the problems they face with contractualization. When asked about the teachers’ struggle, he said that he didn’t know what they were doing. He said it would be good if they did talk to students, teachers and security guards too because the problems do not seem very different, especially that of contractualization. He said that all the support staff were temporary and had no security or benefits whatsoever. They are also hired by the university but through a contracting agency. So although the problems they face are faced inside the university, formally they can’t make complaints to the university. He thought that students, teachers and the support staff should try to communicate and struggle together. But he added that it is very difficult since there are “people you cannot trust because they will report to the malik”. He also added that BJP and Congress are really the same. He had heard Modi say- anyone, even a chaiwala, can be prime minister, but he feels that Modi is not really doing anything either. He can do whatever he wants since he has no opposition. He is a good speaker but all his talk doesn’t change things for the poor, who are still poor even after he has been in power for so long

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