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Monday, April 1, 2013

Congress Blames State Govt for Deprivation of NRHM Employees in First North Bengal Conference

MALDA, 27 JAN: The Congress leaders held the state government responsible today for the deprivation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) employees. However, the Union minister of state for health and family planning AH Khan Choudhury (Dalu) assured that the grievances of the NRHM employees would be considered at the secretariat level.

The state president of Intuc affiliated NRHM employees’ union Biswajit Sarkar informed that it was the first North Bengal conference of the union was organized today. More than 500 ASHA workers and ANM (II) health workers from all district of North Bengal participated in today’s conference at Durgakinkar Sadan.

The conference was inaugurated by the working president of state unit of Intuc Ramen Pandey and was attended by Mr Khan Choudhury, Congress MLAs Sabina Yeasmin, Isha Khan Choudhury, Sushil Roy, state Intuc secretary Tapan Ghosh and other senior Congress and Intuc leaders.

The ASHA workers, in their speeches, ventilated grudges against the discrimination in their uniforms as well as the disparity in their wages compared to other neighbouring states. They demanded that the state government must take steps to redress their grievances forthwith.

State president of the union Mr Sarkar said, “There was a huge scam about the uniform of ASHA and ANM (II) workers. While in 18 states the NRHM workers of all tires have white uniform and in all states of south they have blue uniform, in West Bengal the state government has introduced pink and yellow uniforms to distinguish among the NRHM workers. It is not only derogatory but also hindering our job as the yellow colour of uniform is often confused by the people as that of the Anandamargis and the security could be at a stake.”

“While Rs 390 was sanctioned to buy the shari from the Tantuja for the NRHM workers, they were given cheap polyester made shari worth not more than Rs 120. We demand a probe into it,” he said.

He also alleged the Trinamul led state government was following the footprint of the former Left Front (LF) government. “However, our condition has been deteriorated in Trinamul regime. While the LF government could spend only 22 percent of the grant received from the Centre, the Trinamul government spent only 13 percent of the Central grant,” he claimed highlighting the other problems like the want of vaccines, registers etc amid which the NRHM workers are working.

Mr Pandey assured the NRHM workers that the Intuc would encourage their movement and if necessary they would take up the matter with the Union government.

Sabina Yeasmin blaming the state government said, “As there is no separate cabinet minister for health in the state, the health programmes are facing trouble.” She suggested the NRHM workers to take their issues to the street and demand the permanent worker’s status.

AH Khan Choudhury said that following the embargo owing the by-poll in English Bazaar it was not possible for him to declare any better scheme for them. “But I want to discuss the matter with the joint secretary of Union health ministry in presence of your leaders so that your grievances are addressed,” he said to the NRHM employees.

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