When work was worship

From the albums

When work was worship

This photograph was taken on January 31, 1990, on the day of my retirement from the services of the helicopter division, HAL (BC). I retired as the accounts manager (finance) after my service of nearly 34 years.

I secured the job at HAL, Bengaluru, through direct recruitment of graduates on May 2, 1956. This was the first batch in the history of HAL which was hired through direct recruitment of graduates. I secured the appointment in the internal audit department and worked there for 21 years.

At that time, there were no computers. Even calculators were not available, only comptometers were in use and payroll calculations were done by comptists. All the accounting and auditing calculations were done manually. I worked in the internal audit department as an ‘A’ grade clerk, senior clerk, accountant and assistant audit officer for 21 years, looking after the audit functions in bills receivables, cost accounts, material accounts, bills payables, welfare accounts, payrolls and book-keeping.

All services rendered to IAF and civil customers were pre-audited by the internal audit department, for which I was in charge during my service. I was extremely careful and meticulous in checking the invoices to avoid or minimise the disallowances from them. Delays and disallowances resulted in non-payment of HAL’s bills rendered to IAF, which consequently affected our financial resources. Hence, I had to exercise strict vigilance while pre-auditing the bills of IAF and civil customers.
It was in 1971-72 when computerisation of accounts took place. First, there was card punching and later on, magnetic tapes were used and somewhere in 1987-88, PCs were introduced.

I was also in charge of computer audit. I was able to detect innumerable computer output mistakes due to wrong data and wrong punching of cards. It was a pleasure to liaise with the staff of various sections, educating them to prevent repeated mistakes committed by them knowingly or unknowingly. I shared a good rapport with all the workers and officers who respected me and followed my advice in avoiding such mistakes. After 1977, I was promoted to the position of accounts/ audit officer in the services division and flight operations where I was responsible for looking after a string of other duties.

I was given full freedom in discharging my duties by my financial controller, general manager and managing director. I discharged all my duties to the best of my abilities. Also, I did not favour anyone and strictly followed the procedures that were laid down.

 I was also given promotions as the deputy audit manager and finance manager by the concerned officials. I must say that the staff was very co-operative and no one disagreed with my decisions which were in the best interest of HAL. I was retained in the critical areas of ‘purchase and works contracts’ where I worked for 11 years without any hassles and earned my reputation. In the latter part of 1988, I was picked up by the DGM (finance), helicopter division, from where I retired as the accounts/ finance manager.

I remember the late Srinivas as a dedicated payroll officer who co-operated with me in arranging salary and other payments to the helicopter staff without any problem. Dwaraki and Aziz Khan were efficient and used to take dictations and provided the typed matters relating to financial and accounting reviews. Ramamirtam, DGM (finance) was the most efficient top officer and used to give his valued opinions on financial and accounting matters and hence there never used to be any critical comments by systems audit, statutory audits and comptroller and auditor general.
 
   He supported me fully in all the issues. He also gave me three months’ extension on contract after my retirement. Ramakrishna Joshi was chartered accountant and we used to discuss all the issues before we finalised the accounts to avoid adverse comments from statutory auditors and CAG.

   Shrimathi used to be very friendly and co-operated while submitting the accounting and financial documents to DGM.

After my retirement from HAL, I was called by St Martha’s Hospital in July 1990.  I worked there and retired as a finance manager on February 16, 2004. The management retained me for nearly 14 years. Everyone in the staff including the doctors and nurses gave me a lot of respect. At that time, there were a few aged and dedicated foreign nurses who worked in the hospital without any remuneration and rendered the services with devotion which truly inspired me. I was also instrumental in computerising the accounts department.Due to ageing and other personal reasons, I could not continue my services further. I recently turned 85 and I am proud to say that I am a thoroughly satisfied person, having worked wholeheartedly at HAL and St Martha’s Hospital.

(The author can be contacted on 9611254844)

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