Forgotten: Covid-warriors await special financial incentives
By Syed Tajamul Bukhari
Srinagar, Dec 14: Despite risking their lives in Covid-pandemic, hundreds of corona warriors are waiting for the special financial incentives announced by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha earlier this year.
More than 17,000 Corona warriors including resident doctors, medical officers, paramedical/nursing staff, drivers and class IV employees were appointed in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases and to give a fillip to available medical services at this crucial juncture.
After appointing them, a special financial incentive for COVID-19 Warriors of Health and Medical Education Department of the union territory were announced by LG administration.
The incentive was set to be Rs 10,000 per month for resident doctors, PGs and Medical Officers, Rs 7,000 per month for nursing and paramedical staff, and Rs 5,000 per month for drivers, sweepers and attendants. The tenure of these incentives was initially for a period of three months and will be paid from May 2021 onwards.
A delegation from Baramulla district told Headlines Today that they were given extension after they retired from the services. They said they agreed to work under those tough condition to provide helping hand to the health department which lacked manpower.
“After retirement, we were hired on the last salary drawn by us after deducting the pension amount. But the incentives announced by LG in May this year is still awaited,” said one of the covid-warrior from Baramulla district.
Another covid-warrior said that they worked under very tough conditions when the covid was at its peak. “We risked our lives for the sake of humanity. Besides, we put our families in danger, because we were closely monitoring and taking care of those patients. Unfortunately, government has forgotten our services and are not even paying that small number of incentives,” he said.
Another covid-warrior from Baramulla said that many health workers were infected during this period, while some lost their lives due to covid-19. “I had compulsion to work on this meagre amount, I have a joint family and its not easy to run a huge family in today’s times. So, I agreed to work, but now government is not paying us that money too,” he said.
The delegation requested DHSK, DC Baramulla and other higher officials to reimburse their pending incentives as soon as possible.
Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather told Headlines Today that they were appointed for the covid duty only otherwise they had retired from the service.
When asked about the special incentives, Dr Rather said, “ I think more information regarding that will be the NHM and they must be knowing whether those funds have been released or not. If not, soon they will get those incentives.”