NHM employees start hunger strike, say Govt not willing to listen
Srinagar: While several District Development Commissioners have threatened the striking NHM employees of harsh action in case they fail to join their duties, the striking employees Saturday started their hunger strike in Jammu to press for their demands.
While delegations have been meeting the government officials, nothing seems to be working out so far, with the result, the employees have intensified their strike.
The spokesperson of All J&K NHM Employees Association, Abdul Rouf told ‘Kashmir Vision’ that with nothing in sight they have started the hunger strike and will continue to press for their demands.
“We have been meeting almost every official, but they seem to have decided not to pay any heed to our demands,” he said.
Rouf said that while keeping such an attitude in mind, they have decided to go for hunger strike in order to press for the demands, “we had no option but to go on hunger strike and it will go on till our demands are not met,” he said.
The striking employees, under the umbrella of All J&K NHM Employees’ Association, are demanding regularization of their duties, while also demanding the equal work-equal pay, social security benefits among other demands.
The Association said they were not interested in making people suffer and that Association has already exhibited flexibility wherever administrators have approached us.
“We will instantly return to duties provided the government takes our issues seriously and makes a commitment of resolution of our demands in a time bound manner at the highest level,” they said.
“We are open to discussions and finding a way forward and we are prepared to go to any extent to safeguard our interests and honor”, they added.
In Kashmir division, Abdul Rouf said that they will be working voluntarily in case of any emergency and that, as portrayed, they have not resumed their duties anywhere.
“Keeping in consideration the situation in Kashmir, we will be working voluntarily wherever the need arises,” he said, while adding “we stand firmly for our demands and have not resumed duties anywhere.”
Notably, the NHM employees had observed a marathon strike from December 2017 till January 2018 after which, an agreement was laid down between the government and the NHM employees. The agreement stated 9 demands put forth by the employees, out of 9 only 3 demands have been met, rest are still pending.
On the other side, the government seems to have decided to keep mum on the issue as both the Mission Director NHM Bhupender Kumar and Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education AtalDullo did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter.