Here’s how students of BJ Medical College, Pune, found a novel, constructive way to back the stipend strike

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These students are truly setting up an example for all of us!

By Vinam Pachkhede

Pune – Recently, the news of strike of medical interns over the issue of stipend raise has been doing the rounds. Medical interns from all over Maharashtra have been raising voice over it. If we compare the stipends of other states, Maharashtra provides the lowest i.e. Rs.6000 per month, highest being Kerala, Assam, Orissa, and Chattisgarh – Rs.20,000 per month.

If we compare the stipends of other states, Maharashtra provides the lowest i.e. Rs.6000, Highest being Kerala – Rs. 21,000 then comes Assam, Orissa, Goa, and Chattisgarh – Rs.20, 000. All the Other states like Delhi, West Bengal, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, etc provide stipend between 20,000 – 12,000. Rajasthan also provides significantly lower stipend of Rs. 8000.

The students of Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College (BJMC), Pune, have chosen an optimistic and fruitful way to fight for their demands. They have set up a one-day blood donation camp, as an initiative to back the protests.

The Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI) had a meeting with the Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan, the Finance Ministry and the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) officials on May 2, 2018. In the meeting, the authorities asked for a period of 15 days to work out their demand. It’s been 40 days since, and no action has been taken. And so, the interns decided to go on a strike for an indefinite period from June 13, 2018. Earlier in 2015 after many such protests, the interns were promised Rs. 11,000 per month, but they are still receiving Rs. 6000.

When asked about the kind of impact the BJMC students are expecting from the authorities, a prominent participant Dr. Ketan Deshmukh said, “Instead of doing candle march or rallying on the roads we preferred to set up a blood donation champ so that it even help our patients. The strike is going on in every government medical college in Maharashtra to make a great impact.”

Dr. Tuhin Shrivastava also spoke to Punekar News, “Workers from every profession is paid more than us. We work in shifts of 12hrs or sometimes even 30hrs, so we deserve an increment. Plus everyone is working; the strike is not affecting our service towards the patients. We are hoping that our demands will be considered.”