Seeking regularization, NHM employees get batons

Jammu: At least 15 National Health Mission (NHM) employees Wednesday sustained injuries after police used batons against the protesting employees who tried to march towards Civil Secretariat in Jammu.

Thousands of NHM Employees including employees from Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), J&K State AIDS Control Society and others continued their strike for the 15th consecutive day today at Press Club Jammu and other parts of the state including Srinagar, Leh and Ladakh.

The protesting employees raised slogans against the government for ‘failing’ to frame a job policy for the employees of these organizations.

Chief spokesperson of Joint Action Coordination Committee of NHM Union Jammu Division, Faizan A Tramboo informed the media that Government of J&K is not paying any heed to their genuine demands and forcing them to take aggressive measures to highlight their demands.

He said that in past nine months they have been betrayed multiple times through hollow statements and empty promises by the Health Minister and higher authorities of Health Department and now they need concrete documentation and formal policy safeguarding interests of all categories of employees including doctors, paramedics and management.

The protesting employees asserted that they have been approaching the state Government and the concerned departments from the last many years seeking a policy for their regularization but no one paid heed to their demands.

“Because of our hard work and dedication, our state is being awarded No 1 State for Primary Health Services from last three consecutive years throughout the country. Now in return if employees are asking for their dividends why Government is showing cold shoulder and are acting as a dumb/mute spectators,” they said, adding that the NHM Employees has decided not to call off the strike till the Government come out with a roadmap/written proposal for regularization of the services of the employees of all the three schemes.

Further, the Chief Spokesperson added that “it is unfortunate that the State Govt has forced us to take such extreme step because of its negligent approach, non seriousness and callous attitude in fulfilling the long pending genuine demands of NHM Employees as the career and future of thousands of extremely qualified, sincere and enthusiastic dedicated and incredibly competent youth of the state is hanged in dilemma irrespective of that fact that they have been serving the health department since decades.”

As per reports, the ongoing strike of NHM, RNTCP, JKSACS and other employees of NHM has badly hit the health care system as most of the health institutions are completely dependent on the expertise of NHM Employees as with the strike of NHM Employees entering 15th day, health care in most of the hospitals in rural as well as urban areas have been affected.

The association informed the media that they requested the Government to fulfill their genuine demands but no favorable step has been taken so far by the Government as “we have been holding such protests/strike for many years to seek regularization of jobs but the state government is not ready to pay heed to our demands adding that so far no negotiation was held between the State Govt and Union Members so far which has caused great resentment among all the protesting employees across state.”

The NHM Association Sr Vice President Dr Hamid Parray, Gen Secretary Dr Varinder Gupta and Vice President Dr Arun Deol have urged upon the Government to consider the genuine demands of NHM Employees on priority basis, instead of giving them inhuman treatment otherwise the agitation will turn ugly faces in the coming days for which the State Govt shall be held responsible besides they also condemned the police lathi charge on peaceful protesters who were demanding their genuine demands before the Govt of Jammu and Kashmir

They made it clear that they are not going to suspend the strike unless and until their genuine demands are not accepted by the State Govt in writing with complete acceptance in a time bound manner.

Meanwhile, over 15 employees got injured when the police resorted to mild lathi charge on them to prevent their march towards to the civil secretariat as police and protestors clashed during the protest whereas when they forcefully tried to march towards secretariat, police resorted to mild lathi charge and also fired chilly bombs to disperse the protestors.

MLA Mendhar, Javed Ahmed Rana also joined the NHM Employees protest at Press Club Jammu and extended his full support with the agitating employees and assured that he will take up the issue of NHM Employees in the ongoing assembly session.


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