NHM strike: Hospitals suffering, so are we, say protesting employees

NHM strike: Hospitals suffering, so are we, say protesting employees
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Srinagar: The employees of National Health Mission including doctors and paramedical staff are on strike from last one month demanding regularization of their services and other benefits.
The protest has led to near-collapse of health services, especially in rural areas in Kashmir.
Chief spokesperson, J&K National Health Mission Employees Association, Abdul Rauoof said they had been approaching authorities with their demand of regularization but nothing has been done so far.
“The government has neglected us. Authorities at the helm have failed to fulfil the commitments from the past six years. We had been betrayed,” Rauoof said.
While the heath services have been paralysed by the strike, the employees on strike have their own tales of suffering to narrate, especially the female protestors who have face police action during protests.
“I am working in the LD hospital as a nurse. We came here only for our rights and see what the government is doing to us. This in insane, we are not demanding Azadi. We are here fighting for our rights,” said Rumaisa Akthar, a nurse referring to police action on NHM protestors.
“Government is talking about safety of female folk but at the same time they are dealing with females with water cannons and lathi charge. If we continue strike in coming days they may shower pellets on us,” she said.
“I am falling to understand why the government is doing this to us, why don’t they solve our problem. I have two kids, one in class first and another in LKG. From last five days my younger child is ill. Yesterday I could not come here but today I had to leave him with my mother-in-law. Because of this my children are suffering,” said another protestor Rukiyah Akthar.
Sana Jan, a nurse, said that the protesting employees are getting repeated calls from authorities if they cannot come to hospital they will be terminated, or that the salaries won’t be released.
“As a female we suffer a lot whether it is with in-laws or in maternity ward, or in finding jobs. We appeal authorities to look into out problems, and fulfil our demands,” she said.
Nadiya, a nurse at L D hospital said that they have been suffering as NHRM employee, as they don’t enjoy the benefits they deserve.
“Every day I come from Tagmarg here to protest for our just demand and our government don’t pay any heed towards us,” Nadiya said.
A lab technician from Baramulla said that her photo from the protest got viral on social media and she had to do a lot of explaining.
“I am unmarried; yesterday my photo got viral and at home every one tells me what is this? I am not pelting stones, that police used this type of force on us. We all suffer, even hospitals suffer,” She said adding, “Police itself cannot use this type of force till they have orders.”
The authorities, however, seem to be taking no steps to end the stalemate expect threatening termination of employees.
Rauoof said that though the government acknowledged their demands many times but no headway has been made so far, forcing them to choose the path of agitation.
“We will not call off the strike until the government comes out with a roadmap or written assurance on the regularization of our services,” he said.
In March 2017, after a strike by the employees, the state government had set up a committee to look into their regularization and had submitted its report to the government in January 2018.