After declaring truce, ANM, MPHW staff postpone stir for three days

But will continue staging dharna outside the residence of PPCC chief

After declaring truce,  ANM, MPHW staff postpone stir for three days

File photo

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 2

Auxiliary Nursing Midwives (ANM) and Multipurpose Health Workers (MPHW) announced to postpone their protest against Health Minister OP Soni for three days after he assured them to take up the issue of regularisation with the state government.

However, the employees said the protest outside the residence of PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu would continue. The ANMs and MPHWs had blocked the Bhandari Bridge on Wednesday after they failed to get any response from the Health Minister. The protest on the bridge, which is the lifeline of the city, had resulted in long traffic jams.

Later, the district administration managed to persuade the employees to lift the blockade on the assurance that a meeting with the Health Minister would be held on Thursday.

Contract Health and Multipurpose Female Workers’ Union vice-president Sukhbir Kaur said: “Most of the ANMs were employed on contract in 2006 and 2008. Now, as the government is claiming to regularise 33,000 workers, our case is not being considered even as we fulfil all criteria.” She said presently, the ANMs were being paid around Rs20,000 per month. “We have managed to get this salary after nearly 15 years of service. Initially, the salaries were very low,” she said.

The ANMs are instrumental in ensuring delivery of mother and child care services in the state. Even the mother mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR) reduction in state has been made possible due to their vigilance as they keep a check on each and every pregnancy and child delivery in their areas. Recently, during the Covid vaccination drive, the employees engaged in ensuring vaccination of residents in their areas.

The employees leaders said due to the indifferent attitude of the government, around 3,000 workers in the state were working at low salaries hoping that one day their efforts would be recognised.

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