“We want raise in salaries 100%”. Police on Tuesday resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas to push back hundreds of protestors leaving several injured including clerks, teachers and Lady Health Workers, who were demanding immediate increase in salary packages and regularization of their services.
Protesting against low salary packages and criminal silence of authorities concerned for not increasing salary package of the Lady Health Workers despite Government’s promise, a large number of LHWs were staging demonstration in front of the Parliament House on Thursday.
Later officials from All Pakistan Clerics Association, and teachers also joined them and they raised slogan in support of their demands including regularisation of their services and increase in their salary. Police used tear gas when the protesters attempted to move towards the President House, several protesters were injured and a number of protestors were arrested on the occasion. Even the scorching heat did not turned down their moral and they continued protest for hours.
The protest was held at a time when after a couple of days the Government is going to made budget announcement for the year 2010-11. The clerks were demanding 50 percent increase in their salaries, whereas it has been learnt that the Government had decided to give 15 to 20 percent raise in their salaries. Teachers working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) were also among the protestors demanding regularization of their services.
LHW programme was started in 1994 during Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s government and since then they had been waiting for regularisation of their services, said a Lady Health Supervisor. Despite passage of 16 years the Lady Health Workers Programme could not be regularised and the LHW are compelled to work on a meagre salary package of Rs 3190. While considering their services the Government promised to raise their salaries Rs 6000 but still the LHWs are getting the previous salary amount, “LHWP is the only national level programme having majority of females is being ignored by the Ministry”, LHWs are serving in every district including the remotest areas providing preventative, curative, and rehabilitation services but they were never given the due status and importance by any government.