M A I N   N E W S

Medicos turn down Kalam’s appeal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 25
The President’s appeal to medicos to call off their fast, like the Prime Minister’s before him, has met the same response. Agitating students are unyielding. The stir against reservation, they say, will not die down even as it has had a crippling effect on health services.

Having met the President this afternoon, the protesting medicos, under the banner of the Youth for Equality, have reiterated their demands and refused to call off their agitation, which entered its 12th day today.

With senior faculty members having gone on mass casual leave and the resident doctors refusing to hold parallel OPDs, health services in the city’s hospitals have been severely affected.

While the President, known for his popularity with students, tried to persuade the medicos to resume their duties on the assurance that the government would be increasing the number of seats to protect the interests of all sections, the students remained unconvinced.

“Till we get the assurance that there will be a review of the existing policy, we will not call off the agitation,” said members of the Youth for Equality.

The delegation, which submitted a memorandum to the President demanding setting up of a non-political judicial committee and a white paper on reservation, have urged for the exclusion of the creamy layer from the quota policy. They have also appealed for no action to be taken against the striking doctors and students.

Upset by the government’s repeated refusal to reconsider its decision of extending reservation, the students have begun preparations for a “more large-scale protest”.A massive rally, ‘Dilli aao desh bachao andolan’ called for May 27, which will be attended by people from the neighbouring states as well, shutting down regular and parallel OPDs, mass leave by senior doctors who had been chipping in for the resident doctors on strike are some of the steps that form their bulwark against reservation.

And while the strike has left the patients in a quandary, the protesters are gaining support from unlikely quarters. A group of devotional singers from a gurdwara in Defence Colony has been singing hymns to keep up the morale of the agitators, shopkeepers have pulled down the shutters of their respective shops in support of the medicos. The most extraordinary has been the support from the masses, including senior citizens, who arrive despite the intense summer heat.

“We are not satisfied by the government’s plan of increasing seats, it will be a long-drawn process. We want to awaken this government to the fact that the present reservation policy is flawed”, said members of the Youth for Equality.

“The government is not interested in coming clean on the issue, it has accepted in the Supreme Court that there is no data on how many people qualify through the general category. We have been repeating that we are not against reservation, we are against its improper implementation”, said Sasmit Sarangi of the group.



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