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Delhi: Black Ribbon Protest by Nursing Staff in Delhi Govt Hospitals over Pending Ex-Gratia

The Delhi Nurses Federation said ex-gratia for those who died on COVID duty should be paid in seven days, else they would intensify their agitation.
Delhi: Black Ribbon Protest by Nursing Staff in Delhi Govt Hospitals over Pending Ex-Gratia

Representational use only. Image Courtesy: The News Minute

New Delhi: Scores of nursing staff at various state-run hospitals here on Monday wore black ribbons to register their protest over "pending" ex- gratia from the Delhi government, which was announced by it earlier for eight of their colleagues who have died on COVID duty, their federation said. 

Nursing staff at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash (LNJP) Hospital, GTB Hospital, DDU Hospital, and other Delhi government-run facilities took part in the "peaceful protest" to put forth the demands, said Liladhar Ramchandani, Secretary General, Delhi Nurses Federation (DNF). 

"It's been a year since the Delhi government had announced that any doctor, nurse, paramedical staff, sanitation worker, and others who die in line of COVID duty, his or her kin will get a compensation of Rs 1 crore, but eight nursing officers have died due to COVID, but ex-gratia, as announced is still pending," he said. 

There was no immediate response from the city government. 

In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 20, the DNF had said that it was "very sad that even after a lapse of almost a year, the ex-gratia amount has not yet been paid to the nursing officers".

In the letter, it had also listed the names and hospitals they were working at. 

While four of them were employed at LNJP Hospital, one each was working at DDU Hospital, GB Pant Hospital, GTB Hospital and one with CDMO, Delhi Health Services. 

"Our demand is that it should be paid within seven days, otherwise it will force us to go on agitation or non-cooperation movement," the DNF said in the letter. 

DNF's Secretary General Ramchandani said, on January 24 nurses are protesting by wearing a black ribbon on their uniform, and this will continue on January 25 as well, adding, patient care is not affected, as nurses will continue to work. 

From January 27, if demand is not met, all nursing officers will come out for two hours from work, and register protest in a peaceful manner, and that too will not affect the care of the patient, he said. 

Even after this, if the ex-gratia amount is not paid to the families of the 'corona martyrs', then the entire nursing cadre will go on an "indefinite strike without any further notice" and the entire responsibility of which will be of the Delhi government, the DNF said. 

"We, therefore, demand that the compensation to the families of these eight persons be paid at the earliest," it said.

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