On Oct 24, a video surfaced on social media of a woman cashier at a Bank of Maharashtra branch, and immediately went viral. The clip, uploaded on Facebook by Balaraju Somisetty with the title, ‘Fastest cashier in the world,’ mocked the cashier’s sluggish speed in counting cash and entering data into the computer. The woman became the object of ridicule for thousands of people on Facebook, clocking more than 13 million views and around 1,54,000 shares in just a few days.
According to the Indian Express, all that changed less than a week later when the story of Premlata Shinde, the woman featured in the video, came to light. The video had caught the attention of activist Kundan Srivastava, who struck back at the callousness and insensitivity of the video producers and others who jumped at the chance to mock an elderly woman without knowing the whole truth.
In his own Facebook post from Oct. 27, Srivastava shared details about why Shinde was going about her duties at such a slow pace.
He wrote: “She is Premlata Shinde, retiring in Feb 2017 from ‘Bank of Maharashtra’, Pune. So far she has survived a paralysis stroke and 2 heart attacks. She had just resumed her duties after a prolonged duration of leave for treatment.”
He further noted that Shinde had enough leave available to continue staying at home and getting paid till her retirement. “But, she wants to finish her service period honorably,” Srivastava said. “So her branch staff set up an extra cash counter just so she can work at her own pace while customers can continue getting the service at the usual counter.”
The original post was published here.
This revelation about Shinde’s life sparked an outpouring of sympathy, and also regret from some of the people who had earlier shared the video to mock her. The original video has since been taken down, though it is unclear if Somisetty himself removed it or it was taken down by Facebook.