MC Nipah heroes on hunger strike

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Current Affairs

In January this year the staff launched a stir which was withdrawn after the MCH authorities assured jobs for 22 of the temporary workers.

M.K. Raghavan, MP, on a 12-hour hunger strike expressing solidarity with the MCH temporary staff at Kozhikode on Friday —DC

Kozhikode: Even as  the state government continues to be lethargic in attending to the demands of the 47 temporary staff at Medical College who were on an indefinite hunger strike demanding the promised regularization of services, M.K. Raghavan, MP, started a 12-hour hunger strike at the venue expressing solidarity with the protestors. Considering their exemplary service risking their lives when Nipah hit the region last year, the state government had promised to regularise them soon.

Addressing the gathering M.K. Raghavan said that his intervention aims at inviting the attention of the state to the hapless plight of the temporary staff including cleaning staff. I hope the state would open its eyes to ensure justice for these workers”, he said.

A photo of cleaning staff clad in astronaut like suits carting away bio-medical waste from the isolation ward housing Nipah patients had become a symbol of state’s fight against Nipah when it strike last year.

The temporary employees launched an indefinite agitation last week demanding the government to keep its promise of appointing them on a permanent basis at the Medical College Hospital. In the isolation ward there were thirty cleaning staff, seven staff nurses and five nursing assistants, who worked on temporary basis.

Though the health department directed them to produce the identity proof and other documents, cited as steps towards regularising them,  nothing materialised so far. To make matters worse the health department terminated their services on November 15 which was extended to December 31 after protests.

In January this year the staff launched a stir which was withdrawn after the MCH authorities assured jobs for 22 of the temporary workers.

It was E.P. Rejeesh who first started the relay hunger strike on May 27. When his health deteriorated another staff V.N. Prema replaced him on June 2. 

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