Written by Pallavi Singhal
Draftsmen protesting for their right to a job in the Haryana Government entered the ninth day of hunger strike on Sunday. They have been protesting for 18 days now.
No official from any department of Health, Governance or Public Representatives including any MLA, has paid them any visit. While they protest in the vicinity of the Secretariat of Panchkula, officials move past them, turning a blind eye.
As many as 25 people have been sitting at the protest site of Sector 5, Panchkula to demand their appointment for the position of assistant draftsmen in the Haryana public health engineering department after they cleared the entrance exam in 2014 but are yet to get their joining dates.
“Most of us are from rural and poor sections of society and this job is our last resort. It is our right to get these jobs as we cleared it’s entrance exam fair and square. Almost all of us, left our private jobs that paid us a palsy amount but we survived. Now, we don’t even have that,” said Chhatrapal Kapro, President of the Draftsman union.
Out of the total 11, sitting on the hunger strike, three namely Sonu, Neelam and Nargis, had to be admitted to the hospital on Saturday as their health deteriorated. Jaipal Singh (50) fell unconscious on Sunday morning but has refused any kind of medical help. Singh told the Newsline “He would rather that his body be burned in front of the Public Engineering Health department than be sent to a hospital.”
“Their case is running in the High Court and nothing can be done till it’s judgment is passed but the authorities can at least show some humanity and pay them a visit. All they need is some assurance”, said a sobbing Seema, another protester, who is scared for the life of people admitted at the hospital.
Sonu, youngest in the group, is severely ill but has denied to take any food. He is currently at the Civil Hospital in Sector 4. Neelam (23) from Jind, Haryana, has her parents and three siblings to take care of. She works under an architect for Rs 6,000 and has taken a leave. Nargis, has her parents and a sibling to take care of. Though she has two elder brothers as well, both have left the family’s side. She is 29, unmarried.