Workers’ stir to hit key health drives in Jharkhand: Officials
Over 20,000 ad hoc health workers have decided to go on an indefinite strike from June 3 in Jharkhand which is likely to derail the ongoing immunization and anti-malarial drives in the state, health officials said on Wednesday.
The ad hoc workers, which comprise multi-purpose health personnel, auxiliary mid-wives and nurses, have decided to go on strike to press for job regularisation and pay hikes, said a member of the Jharkhand State Contractual Health Workers’ Association (JHSCHWA), under whose banner they plan to launch the stir.
Health officials said these ad hoc and contractual workers were the backbone of various health drives in the state and their absence might cripple them in the state where over 92,000 cases of malaria and cerebral malaria are recorded every year and infant and under-five mortality rates have been around 38% and 51% per 1000 live births respectively, according to the Annual Health Survey .
The of ficials said their strike might adversely affect Jharkhand ‘Mission Indradhanush’, under which children are administered pentavalant vaccine that immunises them against five diseases -- diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT), Hepatitis B and HIB (Haemophilus influenza type B).
A senior health official said that the mission was aimed at complete immunization of all the children between 0-2 years. Achieving the target of immunising 1.6 lakh children by December could take a hit in the absence of these workers, he said. “Rain in the state early this May has increased the chances of mosquito breeding. If the drives don’t happen, there can be a steep rise in malaria cases,” said state malaria officer S Maria Beck.
President JHSCHWA, Rahul Pratap Singh said, “The strike was scheduled for May 28. However, we delayed it after the state government assured a meeting to discuss our demands. But, now it seems their assurances had just been an eyewash.”
Jammu & Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha held a meeting with several political leaders of the union territory at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar on Wednesday evening. The meeting was held to discuss the current situation in J&K and the Amarnath Yatra that will begin on Thursday. The Lt Governor said the meeting was held to discuss the management of Amarnath Yatra. PDP chief spokesman Suhail Bukhari, however, didn't say whether pDP president Mehbooba Mufti will attend the meeting.
Amid tight security first batch of yatris reached Baltal on Wednesday, one of the base camps for the Amarnath Yatra, as the pilgrims will have a night halt at the camp. On Thursday morning they will be leaving for the holy cave. At several places, documents were checked thoroughly. Every year the annual Amarnath yatra is taken from two routes via Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag district. Some pilgrims were busy chanting hymns.
A 15-year-old pedestrian succumbed to injuries sustained after being hit by an SUV near Botanical garden, Chandigarh. Lavanya was identified as Lavanya, 15, a resident of Nayagaon. The incident took place on Tuesday when Lavanya was crossing the road near gate number 1 of Botanical Garden. She where she succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday. Lavanya is survived by The victim's mother, Nancy Sharma, who works in a hotel and 10-year-old brother, and her father.
According to the proposal, which has been reviewed by HT the salary and allowances of chief minister and ministers, speaker, deputy speaker, chief whip and the leader of opposition will increase from the existing ₹72,000 to ₹170,000, and that lawmakers, from ₹54,000 to ₹90,000.
Amid chants of “Har Har Mahadev” and “Bam Bam Bhole”, lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday morning flagged off the first batch of pilgrims for the annual Amarnath Yatra from the Yatri Niwas base camp at Bhagwati Nagar here in the Jammu city for their onward journey to the Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in Kashmir.