Delhi

Men in black: The bouncers of Delhi's Lok Nayak Hospital

 (Left) Vinit Choudhry and Satpal Lohia at Lok Nayak Hospital.

(Left) Vinit Choudhry and Satpal Lohia at Lok Nayak Hospital.

Towering at 6 feet and a few inches, dressed in all black and wearing a stern “mess-not” expression Vinit Choudhry posted outside the surgical department at Delhi government’s Lok Nayak Hospital is among the fleet of 50-60 “bouncers” that have been brought in to ‘protect’ the medical staff at the hospital earlier this month.

The doctor’s here had refused to come back to work without adequate security staff earlier this year after repeated incidents of patient’s attendants beating up on-duty staff and destroying hospital property.

Fourteen bouncers on an eight-hour shift are stationed here round the clock.

Now a few weeks into the work here at the hospital, Mr. Choudhry confesses that he has his finger on the pulse of the place.

“I have worked at Apollo, GTB Hospital before. So now by just looking at a person or group I know if trouble is walking towards us. In these cases I just stand tall and often glare away a confrontation,” he says.

Other bouncers too gather around to tell their anecdotes and soon many interesting crowd-managing techniques stumble out. “See, women cause the maximum trouble,” they say laughing...adding that women bouncers would be a boon in the hospital setting.

“Men often get physical when egged-on by women folk. It is very common here that women get into arguments, they get abusive and then start crying....that is almost always the trigger for an assault or the likes. Another scenario that is fairly common is that patients in their helplessness and frustration react badly,” says another bouncer, on condition of anonymity, stationed outside the children’s ward here at the hospital.

“Polite, firm and never personal — that is our training,” he adds.

Short-term training

The bouncer’s here have been hired from a private company and get a basic short-term training on “crowd management, looking out for trouble makers, how to break up a group rapidly, how to anticipate trouble and above all to be able to do this while keeping calm”.

“Empathy is vital when working in a hospital setting. We understand that people who come here are in distress so we treat people as human beings first!,” said yet another bouncer stationed outside the gynaecology ward.

The job, however, is not just about crowd management and keeping peace always, says Satpal Lohia.

Marriage proposals

“We have no two similar days,” he says with the other bouncers teasing him about the recent marriage proposal he got.

People’s query

“Yes some of our bouncers also get marriage proposals while on duty....but mostly we just smile and inform them that it may not be possible for us,” said Mr. Lohia.

“Also people come and ask us all sorts of things... some want to know what we eat, some what to know the exercises we do. The more adventurous ones ask us if there is some special pill that we take to bulk-up and put-on muscles overnight,” he says.

“There are all kinds,” adds Mr. Lohia, brushing off his colleague’s stories about an on-the-spot marriage proposal!


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 11:13:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/men-in-black-the-bouncers-of-delhis-lok-nayak-hospital/article23476104.ece