More than 5,000 nursing staff of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi went on an indefinite strike on Monday as the Union government appears to have forgotten all the promises made to them, especially during the initial days of the corona virus in March last.
They went on strike to press their 23-point charter of demands—the top among them is the removal of anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission.
According to the AIIMS Nursing Association it was the Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who himself assured the nurses last year that their demands would be fulfilled. But in the last over a year none of them could be implemented on the plea of the spread of COVID-19.
The Association went on strike when the AIIMS management on Monday gave the contract of nursing to a private firm.
Ironically, it was during the early days of the spread of pandemic that none else but Prime Minister Narendra Modi showered praise on the corona warriors. The government then had announced all sorts of measures for those engaged in the battle against the disease.
Planes and helicopters were used to drop garlands and flower petals on hospitals and health-care centres engaged in fighting the pandemic.
Yet even during those high time of combating corona virus there was a general complaint that the governments, both at the Centre and the states, are ignoring their basic and genuine demands, especially related to personal protection equipment kits.
The strike by nurses in India’s premier most institution has exposed the double standards and sincerity of the government.