Agitating teachers, NHM staff celebrate Nuakhai on streets

Bhubaneswar: Agitating teachers and National Health Mission (NHM) employees, who are continuing their protests at lower PMG in Bhubaneswar over non-fulfilment of their demands, celebrated Nuakhai on the streets today.

Thousands of teachers who have been staging protests since August 16 have threatened to take their protests to panchayat level from Monday.

“The government is not listening to our demands but rather threatening to arrest us and cut our salaries. But we want to make it clear that till our demands are not met, we will continue to celebrate all festivals on the streets,” Golak Nayak, convenor of Odisha School and College Teachers’ and Employees United Forum said.

Similarly, nearly 5000 NHM employees staging protest since last five days demanding fulfilment of their six-point charter of demands including regularisation of jobs by creating a non-medical public cadre, equal pay for equal work as per 7th commission’s recommendations among others; also celebrated Nuakhai at lower PMG.

Threatening to intensify their stir, the agitating employees have urged the government to immediately resolve their issues.

Prabir Kumar Meher, Block Programming Manager-NHM of Bolangir district said “We have been requesting the state government to look into our concerns but they have turned a blind eye. Last time, when the health minister assured us to look into our demands, we called off our stir and cooperated in the measles vaccination campaign. But the government cheated us and has so far not fulfilled our demands, forcing us to hit the streets again,” Meher said.

Activist Sudarsan Das said the employees under the NHM are indispensable for running as many as 52 different schemes from block to state level; and so it is the prime responsibility of the government to look into their demands.