National Health Mission (NHM) employees’ on Thursday staged a protest demonstration for the fourth consecutive day in favour of their “long-pending” demands in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
The protesting employees while demanding regularisation of their services and equal pay for equal work, sought the intervention of the authorities in fulfilling their demands.
Amid bone-chilling weather, scores of the employees under the banner of National Health Mission Employees Association (NHMEA) assembled in the vicinity of Chief Medical Officer’s office urging the higher-ups to fulfil their demands.
In this regard, president of the Association, Dr Shahid Ul Islam said: “the government has turned deaf ears to the demands of NHM employees who have worked tirelessly in health centres throughout Jammu and Kashmir”.
He added that the employees are waiting for the positive results as DC Piyush Singla has assured them to forward their demands to the higher authorities.
Earlier on the second and third day of protest, the Association has submitted a memorandum of the charter of demands to the Chief Medical Officer and DC Ganderbal respectively.
Pertinently, the employees were on a strike for 34 days last year after which the government formed a four-member committee to plan a road map for the regularization policy of the employees.
“A year has gone by and not even a single meeting about it was held. We want the committee to submit the report to the government as soon as possible so that it comes to any conclusion without wasting any more time”, Dr Shahid said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of National Health Mission, Abdul Rauf said that they have been demanding for their rights from last so many years.
“We understand that the regularization of the employees takes time but till then we want the government to work on one of the verdicts of Supreme Court over equal pay for equal work,” Rauf added.
Commenting on this, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Ganderbal, Dr Kasana told Kashmir Life that the Health services in the district have been badly affected by the NHM employees strike.
“Government should take a quick step to look into their demands which are genuine at their own place. The essential health services are hit terribly and patients are suffering,” said Dr Kasana.
The Association extended the strike till January 26, and according to the employees are looking forward to the meeting taking place in Jammu on January 25, which was earlier delayed due to the extreme weather conditions.
Meanwhile, a joint protest program of all NHM, RNTCP and NACO employees was also organised at district headquarters in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.