Islamabad - The manual token system still in vogue at  the National Saving Centre, Muslim Town, Rawalpindi in this era of modern technology is irking the senior citizens and is making routine banking a herculean task for them. 

Murtaza Abbasi, 65, has to reach the Centre at 6 am to get his name registered and then issuance of token by the security guards deputed there after 8 am whenever he needs to do some banking transaction.

“The humiliation does not end here. It takes one hour more as the NSC opens at 9 am when the official concerned takes half an hour further to enter the tokens in an outdated ledger and then feed them in the computer system for withdrawal or deposit of cash or other transactions,” he told APP on Wednesday while waiting for opening of the Centre.   He lamented that after a three-hour hectic exercise one could just manage to enter the premises of the Centre.

A widow, Niyaz Fatima, who had come all the way from Sihala to withdraw her pension, said she was over 70 and was suffering from heart disease yet she had to go through an exhausting day to run affairs of life once in a month. Hussain Shah, a 75-year government pensioner, said several complaints had been lodged for adopting an automated e-ticketing system.

“But it looks the NSC people want to carry this system as a legacy asset for even the next generations,” he sarcastically remarked. He said, “The activity is so complex that a group of five people at same time are called to deal, consuming more time and creating mix-ups.”

He said some 200 clients daily visited the Centre while it had a seating capacity for only 40 persons at a time and the rest had to stand and wait for hours. It was an unfair treatment meted out to the senior citizens, he added.  An NSC official at the facility said they were aware of the problems being faced by the citizens and were gradually improving their quality of service.   He said earlier the condition was more pathetic, but now the clients are provided with comfortable sofas to wait for their turn.

The demand for e-token system had also been forwarded to the high-ups and steps were under consideration to resolve all the issues, he added.