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SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) President Dr Suhail Naik in a communiqué said that National Health Mission (NHM) Employees are protesting for their legitimate and genuine demands since past 1 week but it seems Govt. is in deep slumber and instead of making a policy regarding their issues Govt. is using authoritarian approach by dilly dallying tactics.

Dr Naik further said that “the authorities are presenting a rosy picture in front of Govt. vis a vis present Health Dept. scenario but the fact is totally in contrast. Due to the shortage of staff working capacity of regular staff is being stretched beyond human limits as they are being kept on night duty roster every second day which is humanly impossible and is against the National law. Even leaves of regular staff have been cancelled which is the “right” of every employee. Regular staff is excessively overburdened at present and are working beyond their normal capacity. If the Govt. doesn’t take any concrete steps in solving the NHM Employees issue the time is not far off when the whole Govt. Health Dept. machinery will collapse.

Vice president DAK, Dr Sajjad Qanungo said that “we support the genuine demands of our NHM employees brethren especially equal pay for equal work and maternity leave benefits for female employees apart from regularisation either by lateral entry or through reservations. DAK demands Govt. to make a policy regarding NHM employees issues so that justice is served to them.

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SRINAGAR: Contractual employees of the National Health Mission (NHM), who work with the Health Department, staged a protest in Bandipora on Monday demanding equal pay for equal work. The protesters said despite their vital contribution towards achieving all NHM targets for the state, the government had been ignoring their demands. They claimed that they had already met the Governor but the government did not pay any attention to their demand.

Aijaz Ahmad Mir district president of NHM Employees’ Union bandipora, said they were demanding hike in their salaries. “If the government in a neighbouring state, Haryana, can pay full salary to NHM employees, then why is governor administration not implementing it? Apart from full salary. Aijaz said NHM employees were working on nearly one-fifth the salary of a government employee despite doing the same work for equal hours.

They also said that “the government had promised us social security benefits but till date, nothing has been done”, citing the example of a lady nurse who was allegedly burnt by in-laws, they said ” her kids are in need of and are suffering, ” Fayaz said. The protesting employees said despite Supreme court guidelines on equal work for equal pay the government has them in giving those benefits. “We have been seeking our rights only as Haryana and Delhi states have been already benefited. Even our colleagues under SRO 384 in J&K are being given salary under these norms”.

Farooq Ahamd, one of the protesters, said they did not want to protest in the first place but the government was not listening to their grievance, which forced them to agitate. He said, “The targets of the NHM, namely Measles Rubella, Pulse Polio, TB and others, could be achieved only because of the hard work of NHM employees. But we are not paid well.”

He said that the government last year promised them certain social benefits but till date no such demand has been fulfilled, thereby forcing them to hit the roads. The protesting employees said that they have also been demanding ‘equal work equal pay’ but despite Supreme Court guidelines the government has failed to do so. They later marched towards the office of the deputy commissioner from SDH Bandipora and submitted a memorandum.

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UDHAMPUR: The Indian Army organised a lecture on ‘Heart Attack and its Prevention’ at village Janwari of Ramban district. The lecture elaborately covered what is heart attack, how it occurs especially in adults and its preventive method. The lecture also covered the symptoms of heart attack like feeling of pressure, tightness, pain in chest, squeezing or aching in the chest or arms that spread to the neck, jaw or back. Technique used in medical emergencies in a case of heart attack which is known as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation was also demonstrated to the local populace. This general awareness programme was well received by the local populace and it was heartening to see enormous zeal, enthusiasm and interest among the people who requested for more such events in future. The event surely strengthened the Army-Awam connect.