Nipah heroes restart hunger strike seeking jobs promised by govt
Kozhikode: When the state was in panic following Nipah outbreak, sanitary workers on contract at the Kozhikode Medical College risked their lives to efficiently carry out cleaning and waste management.
During the Nipah outbreak period, they were hailed as heroes and government promised them permanent job in the medical college. But even one year after the Nipah outbreak, the promises remain on paper while these employees were removed from their jobs and were forced to protest against this on the streets for the second time.
Earlier, these 42 sanitary workers started hunger strike here over removal from their post. They concluded the strike as government convinced them that they will be reinstated in their posts. As the government failed to keep the promise, these employees resumed their hunger strike from Monday.
EP Rajeesh, a cleaning worker who featured in the news on Mathrubhumi is holding hunger strike on Monday.
Health minister KK Shailaja also promised the workers that those who worked during Nipah outbreak will get a permanent job in the medical college. Medical College authority was also asked to prepare a list of the employees in this regard. However, protesters alleged that workers who were not on duty during Nipah outbreak were included in the list while the sanitary staff on duty were excluded.
"We held a strike earlier as the government promised that we will be reinstated according to new vacancies. But now, they are rejecting us the job stating that most of us were not employed in the Nipah ward. Government and medical college authority have cheated us," said Rajeesh.
"In the report, the hospital authority informed the government that I was on duty in Nipah ward till May 31. But I have nursed the Nipah patient till June 13," he added.
The hospital authority had prepared three lists as directed by the government. Over 450 employees were named in the list. But the staff who risked their lives to shift dead bodies and nurse the Nipah affected were not included in the list.