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KL This Week: Demanding Better Working Conditions and Wages, Private Hospital Nurses Observe Token Strike

NewsClick brings you a round-up of the happenings across Kerala this week.
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The state of Kerala has achieved another distinction of being the first ‘fully digital banking’ state. The achievement was announced by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram. 

Kozhikode district has won the 61st School Kalolsavam festival for a record 21st time, which concluded today. Kannur and Palakkad districts were the runners-up after five days of the festival held in Kozhikode. 

Buoyed by the poor working conditions and stagnant wages, the nurses under the banner of the United Nurses Association (UNA) held a token strike in the Thrissur district on January 4. The organisation has planned for a massive statewide strike demanding a daily minimum wage of Rs 1,500.

A nurse who worked in the Government Medical College, Kottayam and a college student from Kasargod died due to food poisoning. The Department of Health and Food Safety has launched massive inspections in eateries across the state. 

Saji Cherian of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] was reinducted to the Cabinet and was sworn in as the minister for fisheries and culture by the Governor, Arif Mohammed Khan. NewsClick brings you a round-up of the happenings across Kerala this week. 


The UNA organised a one-day token strike in Thrissur to highlight their demands regarding working conditions and minimum wages. Casualty services and hospitals which agreed to a 50% hike as interim relief were exempted from the strike, while one-third of the staff were present for work as per the decision by the UNA leadership.

The organisation has demanded that private hospitals maintain a 1:6 nurse-patient ratio in hospitals and 1:1 in ICUs. Besides, the UNA has accused the private hospitals of not revising the wages since 2017. After a massive strike last year, a minimum, monthly wage of Rs 20,000 was accepted. The association has demanded Rs 1,500 per day as the minimum wage, which was not agreed upon during the talks held by the officials of the Labour Department.

The UNA has planned for prolonged state-wide protests including strikes for their demands including the abolition of contract appointments in private hospitals. 


Kozhikode district, with 940 golden cup points, was crowned the champion of the 61st Kerala School Arts Festival (Kalolsavam). The districts of Palakkad and Kannur shared the second position with 925 points each.

The domination of the Malabar region continued in this edition of the competition as well, with Thrissur winning the 4th position while Ernakulam district finished 5th. B.S.S GURUKULAM Higher Secondary School of Alathur in Palakkad district was placed top among the schools with the highest points scored. 

The valedictory ceremony will be inaugurated by the leader of the opposition V D Satheesan, in the presence of ministers including P A Mohammed Riyas and renowned singer K S Chitra. 

The 24 venues saw massive people's participation as around 14,000 students showcased their talents in 239 competitions held since January 3, after a gap of two years due to the pandemic. 


The 13th national conference of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) began on January 6 in Thiruvananthapuram with around 850 delegates participating from states and union territories across the country.

The conference was inaugurated by renowned danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, in the presence of Aleida Guevara and Teesta Setalvad. The conference will deliberate on the functioning of the association during the last three years and chart out plans till the next conference. 

Along with the work report by the general secretary, the delegates will discuss the 6 commission papers during the conference which will conclude on January 9 with a public meeting. 


Two deaths due to food poisoning led to the surprise checks and the closure of hotels by the food safety officials during the last week. Rashmi Raj, a nurse, fell ill after consuming kuzhi mandhi from a nearby hotel on December 29 and died on January 2. 

Another student, Anjushree Parvathy, a student from Kasargod died on January 6 after consuming Mandhi Biryani from a hotel in Kasargod town on December 31 and died on January 7. 

Following the deaths, the Department of Food Safety raided hundreds of hotels and many were sealed following hygiene and licence issues. The minister for health has demanded reports on the cause of deaths. 


Saji Cherian was inducted into the Cabinet after being forced to resign after his comments on the Constitution. The governor had reportedly sought legal opinion on the reinduction as a case was filed over the minister of Cherian in July 2022.

He was allocated fisheries, culture and youth welfare which he held during his earlier tenure. The CPI(M) state secretariat had earlier decided to reinduct him, following a clean chit from the police. 


Kochi became the hub for new year celebrations and Kochi Carnival, as 5 lakh people visited the city. Unconfirmed reports claimed the number of visitors to be 5 lakhs in Fort Kochi on new year's eve, leading to a massive rush in the congested area. 

The lack of RoRo services and people rushing to board the boats had led to minor incidents of people slipping into the backwaters, fortunately, no injuries were reported. The district administration was accused of not ensuring necessary toilets, parking and transport facilities for the visitors.

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