Srinagar, Jan 1: Scores of NHM paramedics who were engaged under the Emergency COVID Response Package (ECRP) hit the streets on Saturday after their disengagement order of December 31, 2021.
These paramedics assembled at Press Enclave in Srinagar demanding re-engagement of their services.
They said that the government engaged them since 2019 to work as frontline workers in the health sector and now they were being disengaged.
They said at a time when new COVID variants were creating havoc across the country and the threat was looming large in Kashmir, they were being thrown out.
“This is not only unfortunate for us but also the fight against COVID in Kashmir. When people were afraid of stepping out of their homes, we put our lives at risk to work but now we are being treated indifferently. If we were to be thrown like this, why were we reengaged three months back? Unfortunately, the government is taking help from the Education department but professionals like us are left out. This is the time when the government is passing orders to follow COVID protocols and imposing night curfews but at the same time, we are disengaged as if there is no COVID. We want the government to look into this issue and reengage us for the good of the entire Kashmir,” said Shahid Ahmed, a protesting paramedic.
The protesting paramedics said that in J&K around 1600 of them worked in different hospitals.
“It affects our career as we give up many other opportunities when we were engaged in such services. Our families are dependent on us and so is the patient care. At such a juncture, we are being disengaged with no thought whatsoever,” said another paramedic.
The protesting paramedics said that they were the ones who faced the brunt of COVID during these years but now they were being left to fend for themselves.
They said that they would reach out to every government official for their re-engagement.
They said that Lt Governor ManojSinha should look into the issue so that they do not have to hit roads.