LHWs call off sit-in after govt accepts demands

Updated 21 Oct 2020

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Hundreds of LHWs staged the protest at the edge of the Red Zone after they were denied entry into the the heavily-guarded area six days ago. — Online/File
Hundreds of LHWs staged the protest at the edge of the Red Zone after they were denied entry into the the heavily-guarded area six days ago. — Online/File

ISLAMABAD: The protesting lady health workers (LHWs) called off their sit-in after successful negotiations with government authorities early on Tuesday.

Hundreds of LHWs staged the protest at the edge of the Red Zone after they were denied entry into the the heavily-guarded area six days ago.

Several rounds of talks were held between the government and the leaders and representatives of the protesters during the protest.

National Programme for Health Employees Federation President Rukhsana Anwar told Dawn that the sit-in was called off after successful talks with the government.

The talks were held late on Monday night at Pak Secretariat between representatives of the LHWs from all provinces, All-Pakistan Clerk Association and a government team, including Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan and the secretary health.

During the two-hour-long talks, the government accepted all the demands of the protesters and assured them of its implementation within three months, she said.

The sit-in was called off at 3am and all the protesters left for their native towns, she added.

After the protesters left venue, containers and road blockades were removed. The LHWs had 10 demands, which included restoration of the National Programme of Family Planning in its original condition, equal bonus and pay for employees in all the provinces.

The protesting women said it was unjust that the salary for lady health workers in Sindh was Rs35,000 and in Punjab it was Rs20,000. They demanded the creation of a service structure and service rules for all the employees.

They also demanded that the existing service of the employees may be taken into account for upgradation and promotion.

Moreover, the employees may be considered for promotion and gratuity and the LHWs be provided with security during polio campaigns.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2020