Around 170 nurses and 25 lab technicians from the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Karnataka have been on a strike for a week now. As The New Indian Express reports, contrary to the fact that the strike would affect patients, the hospital authorities said that the situation is under control.
The nurses are protesting the hospital’s call to hire 150 nurses on a contract basis for nine months through the paramedical nursing board, reported The New Indian Express. “What is the need for calling for applications again if we have been working here across all departments in Kidwai? How did they hire us if we weren’t doing our jobs well? Will fresh graduates know better?,” said Sowmya HN who has been working there for three years.
Manjula V, Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Education Department, told The New Indian Express, “We cannot regularise them. There is a Supreme Court case where the court itself clearly says you cannot regularise those hired on an ad hoc basis. They cannot hold the hospital to ransom if it wants to hire trained nurses with tested skill sets. Some of the ad hoc nurses don’t have skill sets.”
Another one of their demands is a hike in their salary. Currently, they are being paid a salary of Rs 15,000 and they are demanding a hike. A pay revision of Rs 18,000 was proposed by the finance committee of the hospital but it has been pending with the government.
Another one of their demands is that they should be provided with proper ID cards that will prove that they are nurses with the oncology department. Sowmya HN said, “There is absolutely no proof that we work here when we go outside. How can you function like this?”
When the demand for the ID card was made, one of the doctors from the hospital said that the ID cards were ready but the nurses have not collected them because of their strike.
They say that they have been stuck with the “trainee” tag forever now. A nurse who has worked in the hospital for more than 10 years said still has the trainee tag. Shobha RK joined Kidwai as a ‘trainee’ nurse in 2008 and still is. She still earns only Rs 15,000. A permanent nurse with similar experience would earn at least Rs 35,000, reported The New Indian Express.
Shortage of staff in hospital
Dr Linge Gowda, director, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology said the hospital was functioning at a normal pace. Not even a single patient seeking treatment has been turned away, he said. He added that the protesters were sending false messages saying that the ICU was not working while one ICU was closed for fumigation, which is a common procedure, reported TV9.
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.