Home Guards help IT firms shift equipment to work from home

Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) Amid the lockdown, a number of Information Technology sector employees in Maharashtra have been able to shift to working from home, all thanks to help provided by the Home Guards.

These personnel have been helping various IT firms by accompanying the trucks used for transporting computers, laptops, networking equipment and other peripherals from the offices to residences of employees, a senior police official told PTI.

Maharashtra has several IT campuses in Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Nashik, where thousands of employees of various companies cater to overseas clients, contributing sizeably to export earnings.

As the movement of people has become extremely difficult due to the lockdown, industry body Nasscom recently approached the Home Guards to help the IT companies in moving the technical equipment to the homes of employees.

Keshav Murugesh, the Chief Executive officer of WNS, who was chairing Nasscom till April 6, said they approached the Home Guards for help and the force was pivotal in executing the task.

All the IT companies paid for the help rendered for the movement of equipment, he said.

Following the request, volunteers of Home Guards accompanied trucks of various companies and helped in shifting their desktops, laptops in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nagpur, a senior police official said.

More than 20 IT companies, like IBM, Hexaware, Cognizant took help of the Home Guards, the official said.

'Whatever we could do, we did it to support the industry,' he said.

Director General of Home Guards and Civil Defence, Sanjay Pandey, said various companies, which are mostly service providers, needed help during this period.

It is natural that we should help the industry. We provided the Home Guards for shifting desktops and laptops of IT companies, Pandey told PTI.

The Home Guard volunteers earned extra for the help they extended, another police official said.

As of now, the strength of the Home Guards in Maharashtra is 45,000, out of whom 15,000 personnel are on duty during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. A few of them have been given the task of helping the IT industry, he said.

The Home Guards usually assist Maharashtra Police during natural calamities. They are also deployed for bandobast duties during festivals, in trains to help the railway police and other police assistance-related work. PTI DC AA GK GK