Lady health workers in defiant mood as sit-in continue for fourth day

 Hundreds of lady health workers refused to end sit-in without the notification of their demand's acceptance 

Hundreds of lady health workers have refused to end their sit-in near red Zone in Islamabad without the official notification of their demand’s acceptance. They continue their sit-in on the fourth day. Despite facing several problems including sanitation and cooking facilities, they are not ready to give up their struggle. They have shown a defiant mood so far.

The lady health workers refused to end their sit-in until their demands are met. While the government has tried every tactic by switching off streetlights, stripping the protestors of drinking and eating facilities leaving them to sit alone on the street in the dark with no food and drinks. But female health workers have shown their determination and courage.

President of the National Programme Health Employees Federation Rukhsana Anwar further explained that the workers had to go to a nearby petrol station to use the toilets. Although, the management at the fuel station has now refused to let the lady health workers use their toilets as they say that the government has instructed them to do so.

It is really shameful for the government that way it is treating the protesting lady health workers who are spending nights alone on the streets of islamabad. It is really inhuman and cruel treatment. 

Lady health workers along with their children on Saturday have continued sit-in at D-Chowk in Islamabad against low salaries, pay structure and scale. According to details, the protesters have clarified that they will not call off the sit-in till the approval of their demands. Meanwhile, three woman workers also fell unconscious during the protest.  

They started their sit-in and protest along with thousands of government employees on October 14. The other government employees ended their sit-in and protest after negotiations with government ministers. But lady health workers refused to end the sit-in just on government assurance and promise to solve their problems.

Lady health workers have a long history of struggle for their rights. They struggled for years to get confirmation of their service. They fought a long battle to won their rights so far. It is an important lesson for all those who thinks that rights can be won without struggle. Working class history tells us that workers’ rights have been won through struggles, strikes and mass demonstrations.

The lady health workers that have been protesting have issued a 10-point agenda of demands, which includes the restoration of the National Programme of Family Planning in its original condition, and that all employees should be given equal bonuses and all the provinces should receive equal pay.

They stated that it was unfair that the salary for lady health workers in Sindh is Rs. 35,000, while lady health workers in Punjab are paid Rs. 20,000. They demand the building of a service structure for all employees and service rules.

They have demanded that the services of the national programs should be counted, all lady health workers and lady health representatives should be regularized, retired employees should be given pensions, the union should be restored, victimization and retaliatory action stopped and redundant colleagues reinstated immediately. Moreover, security must also be provided to all employees of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme during polio vaccination campaigns.

                                                     Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor


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