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Covid Is A Biological Warfare & National Security Threat, We Must Gear Up: Kunwar Vikram Singh, CAPSI

The security guards being the first responders to threats, the CAPSI wants to empower the guards with education, skills and threat assessment.

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The Central Association for Private Security Industry (CAPSI) hosted its midterm conference virtually where private security players from across the country participated. The leaders of CAPSI termed Covid 19, a biological warfare that must be fought efficiently with the help of private security measures.

The CAPSI members lauded the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decision to make private security as “essential services” stating that private security has indeed played a pivotal role in saving lives from Covid at the primary level.  

Chairman CAPSI, Kunwar Vikram Singh said, “People were anxious that this industry will die however we rather emerged as one of the industries that not only worked 24/7 but managed to survive economically. CAPSI ensured that private security industry didn’t suffer during the pandemic. We signed MoUs with UK and South Africa, had discussions with them to create more opportunities in India”.  

“We also signed MoU with Rashtriya Raksha University to impart online training on new techniques, education, technology and upgradation of the personnel in private security. CAPSI was invited at Security Sector Governance in Geneva for a talk on challenges and issues of private security in India. The importance of private security has increased so much in the world that Geneva Centre is looking towards South Asia to bring our participation in it” he added.  

Singh further said, “Covid 19 is a biological warfare threat to India and defence forces believe that today it is Covid which is being used against India, tomorrow it could be some other virus. The private security industry must prepare itself for any such threats in future”.  

While appreciating the efforts of CAPSI, Businessworld Chairman, Dr. Anurag Batra said, “CAPSI has done commendable job in the pandemic year and ensured private security not only survives but thrives on good work. The efforts CAPSI has been making to upgrade private security services in the country are worthwhile”.  

The state presidents of CAPSI put worth their ideas and work during the pandemic year with most of them expressing the hurdles in getting licenses cleared for this industry.  

However, Delhi State President, Hardeep Singh Chaudhary stated that licenses in Delhi NCR with the new online process.  

Singh said, “We had issues with pendency of license clearance however with the online process we got it cleared. In case at Haryana, within two days, the concerned person got his license cleared. The impact of second wave was huge in Delhi where movement of security guards and even senior directors was difficult, but we ensured that the guard were transported in secured vehicles to continue their work. All office bearers in Delhi contributed for the supply of oxygen cylinders concentrators, medicines and more. We yet lost eight security guards to Covid however we are now taking care of their families”.  

In Gujarat, President Dr. Sandeep Trivedi expressed that the private security industry suffered blockage of payments and high penalty from IT department.  

Dr. Trivedi said, “Many private security companies were in lurch because there were no payments from clients during the pandemic. We wrote to MHA and the issues was resolved. The IT is also levying high penalty for late payment of IT from these industries which owners are not able to cope up. We need CAPSI’s intervention into it. We also need improvements in labour fees wherein we can have labour deposit system to get fixed payment for labours that can ease load off industry”.  

Assam state president, Deepak Chakravarty said, “The private security is not as good in Northeast compared to other stated. We need to put lot of attention and efforts to improve it. We also want that all statsof Northeast are merged into one chapter where work can be coordinated and delivered for the best result. In last two years, many industries and construction companies have come up in Assam where private security guards are needed”.  

The Karnataka chapter of CAPSI however had fewer issues of implementation in the state. President CN PAtil said, “We concentrated on the vaccination of the private security guards in the state and with the help of Karnataka Police, we have got 90% of guards vaccinated so far. We extended our services to the remotest areas of Karnataka where medicines, food and essential didn’t reach and distributed kits”.  

Madhya Pradesh President, Saajan Paniker said, “We have taken up a huge onus to vaccinate 5000 security guards and their families on June 21. They are our key men who face Covid threats, and we need to protect them first”.  

The security guards being the first responders to threats, the CAPSI wants to empower the guards with education, skills and threat assessment.  

Vive Chairman, CAPSI, Vikram Mahurkar said, “The security guards are the first line of defence, and they are the first responders to mishaps, accidents, hazards. I want to emphasis, response mechanism level and wages. In any mishap from fire to chemical leak of accident, he needs to first save himself to be able to save others. He must know the right emergency calls to male. The response of the guards is not up to mark. He has to react to an unplanned situation and be an efficient responder”.  

He added, “A 10th pass guard cannot understand most of the technologies and processes. We need minimum graduates for this who can be upgraded time to time for various hazards. We also need to pay them more. Certain industries in Gujarat and Maharashtra are paying Rs. 800-900 per day to guards to bring them to skilled category. He will learn when he is also paid for his work”.  

Director General CAPSI, C Pal Singh emphasized on welfare schemes for security guards.  He said, “We require a paradigm shift in the way security guards are provided for. When security industry has become an essential service, now is the time to appreciate them as frontline workers and work for their welfare. I want a welfare fund scheme to be started for them that works for their income, education, housing and health”.  

He added, “They are contractual employees, and they remain in threat of losing their income. There should be a system to protect their jobs and wages. I want a designated housing scheme for the guards where low-income housing can be constructed closer to company offices to reduce their cost of transportation and mentally freeing him from worrying about the security of his own family. The paramilitary forces are constructing Laurie Baker form of houses for jawaans, we must do the same for security guards”.  

The ideas and issues of all state chapters were acknowledged by CAPSI for implementation.

The conference was held in association with BW Securityworld, a specialized magazine for private security industry.

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