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KL This Week: Opposition Mounts Against NHM’s Instruction to Change Name of Family Health Centres

Neelambaran A |
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the important developments from Kerala in the past week.
KL This Week: Opposition Mounts Against NHM’s Instruction to Change Name of Family Health Centres

Image: R Prakash

NewsClick brings you a round-up of the important developments from Kerala in the past week, including the state government opposing the Centre's instruction to rename Public Health Centres as Ayushman Arogya Mandirs, the observation of International Palestine Solidarity Day, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) demanding the resignation of the Governor in the wake of the Supreme Court's observation on holding onto Bills, the participation of Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in the Navakerala Sadas of the government of Kerala, and the police nabbing three accused persons in the abduction of a six-year-old girl from Kollam.


On November 29, observed as the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) organised solidarity gatherings across the state. Street corner meetings, human chains and rallies were organised by different unions affiliated with the CITU. 

CITU members urged the international community to bring an end to the barbaric attack of Israeli forces on innocent children, women and other civilians in the Gaza region, “under the guise of eliminating Hamas”. 

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) had given a call seeking international action from affiliated trade unions against the “siege of Gaza by Israel”. With more than 12,000 people killed in Gaza since October 7, the WFTU had urged the workers to intensify their protests against the imperialist forces. 


The LDF government has strongly opposed the instruction of the Union government to change the name of the public health centres in the state to Ayushman Arogya Mandirs. The LDF government has been investing in upgrading the health infrastructure, from the sub-centres in rural areas to the medical colleges. 

The circular from the National Health Mission (NHM) official has said that the title change will be accompanied by a new tagline, Arogyam Parmam Dhanam

Dr Thomas Isaac, former finance minister of Kerala, opposed this move, terming it imposition of Hindi. Writing on X, he said, “Centre wants to rename family health centres with its Hindi brand name Ayushman Arogya Mandir because Rs 5 lakhs of central funds has been used for the centres with an asset value of Rs 1 crore”. 

The state has also accused the Union government of withholding the funds for the different schemes implemented through the NHM. 


The DYFI members took out a march to the Kerala Raj Bhavan, demanding the resignation of Governor Arif Mohammad Khan after the Supreme Court (SC) questioned his inaction for over two years – about the Bills passed by the state legislature. The march was followed by a protest meeting.

The DYFI accused the Governor of failing in his constitutional duty, by holding on to the Bills passed by the state legislature as he neither gave assent nor forwarded those to the President of the country. 


Though the principal opposition block UDF has announced the boycott of LDF’s Navakerala Sadas, a few leaders from Congress and IUML attended the programmes in different constituencies only to invite the ire of the party leadership. 

The Congress and IUML have suspended a handful of leaders for participating in the programme. The disciplinary action was carried out in the Kasargod, Kozhikode, and Malappuram districts.

Meanwhile, the outreach programme continues to receive massive patronage from the public who are submitting their grievances to several departments to find solutions.


The police arrested three persons, including two women, in the case related to the abduction of a six-year-old girl from Oyoor in the Kollam district. The police traced the details of the three accused individuals who had taken refuge in Tamil Nadu after abandoning the kidnapped girl in an open area in Kollam town.

The girl was kidnapped on November 27 and was found the next day, after 20 hours. Initial information suggested that a trio of husband, wife, and daughter kidnapped the kid to solve their financial issues. 

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