‘Despite live broadcast, I was marked absent’ in Radio Pakistan

PESHAWAR: Few days ago, I visited the building of Radio Pakistan Peshawar to collect cheques of the broadcasts which were presented by me in April and May last year. I was provided with remuneration of just four days, while I actually worked for five days. I protested that but the account section told me that the deduction had been made actually by the news section.

The news section told me that deduction has been made as the record of one day is not available in the studio register. I told them to check the news record as the news read by me were broadcast live which is an undeniable proof that I performed my duty. And then an employee at the news section said: “You cannot prove your attendance in the newsroom even in a court and you cannot take money from us.”

This horrible attitude of the newsroom staff was really unbecoming at that particular moment as he blamed me for mistake that I didn’t commit and as a consequence deprived me of remuneration despite solid evidence of my presence at the duty. If some mishap happens with an employee, and he/she is not present on the studio register of Radio Pakistan due to negligence of some official, the artists/ presenters like me cannot prove that they were at the Radio Pakistan.

The high-level officials of Radio Pakistan are receiving hefty packages, but in return, they have given this obsolete system in which the general employees are treated with disdain and are deprived of their hard-earned remuneration. This obsolete system is the major cause that this state institution is running into losses and the situation is going from bad to worse.

The process is that a news presenter had to register his/her entry at the gate of radio Pakistan. The official at the gate notes the entry time and also takes signatures of those who enter the building. Then news script given to a news reader carries the name of reader and translator on the first page. Another registration is carried out at the door of the studio and time of entry is also noted again. The person on duty writes down the names of announcer, reader and translator on duty. The time of leaving the studio is also noted down. In short, the daily wagers working at radio Pakistan as artists, presenters had to go through a long process of entry and exit to perform their duty at the building of the state broadcaster. And yet if someone didn’t mark you present, even if you’re on air, you’re absent.