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Outsourced hospital assistants at NIMHANS protest

Alleging that authorities at NIMHANS have illegally terminated their services for demanding a change in work timings, 19 hospital assistants, including 15 women belonging to the Dalit community, have been on an indefinite protest since July 9. They have been demanding that they be taken back into service.

The workers, under the banner of NIMHANS Pragatipara Workers Union (NPWU), affiliated to the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), have alleged that authorities unilaterally changed the timing of the workers extending it up to 9.30 p.m. when the State government had imposed a night curfew prohibiting travel after 9 p.m.

“The work timing was changed only for those working in the radiology department and as most of the hospital assistants in this department are women, the workers expressed their difficulties and apprehensions about their safety, and sought for the provision of at least transportation. However, their services were terminated on July 9,” alleged M. Basavaraj, NPWU general secretary.

“Although we are from an outsourced agency, the agency has been functioning at the behest of NIMHANS authorities. We will continue our protest till we are reinstated,” he said.

Denying the allegations, NIMHANS Registrar B.S. Shankaranarayana Rao said that all the workers belong to an outsourced agency and none are directly employed by NIMHANS. “We have no control on these workers and the agency has powers to define their nature of work,” he said. As they are not employees of NIMHANS, they have no right to misuse the name of the institution, he added.

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