Nurses’ unions warn of protests if Delhi govt fails to fulfil promise of Covid-19 ex-gratia payment

Delhi Nurses Federation, Delhi State Hospital’s Nurses Union and All India Government Nurses Federation wrote to Delhi CM, LG pointing out delay in making ex-gratia payments to healthcare workers


Ashlin Mathew

Three nurses’ unions have written to the Delhi Chief Minister and the Lieutenant Governor demanding the release of the ex gratia amount of Rs 1 crore to all health workers who died after contracting coronavirus while being on Covid-19 duty.

The Delhi Nurses Federation (DNF), Delhi State Hospital’s Nurses Union and the All India Government Nurses Federation (AIGNF) have pointed out that even after almost a year, the ex-gratia amount has not been paid and this amounted to injustice towards the entire nursing cadre.

According to a circular released on May 13, 2020, any person including doctors, nurses, para-medical staff, security/sanitation staff, or any other government employee including the police, whether temporary or permanent employee or contractual in any government or private sector, deployed for Covid-19 duties by Delhi government expired by contracting the disease during discharge their duties, their family would be paid an ex-gratia of amount Rs one crore.

AIGNF pointed out that the family of Rajkumar Agarwal, who died after contracting the disease while on Covid-19 duty at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital has not been given the compensation yet. Giving the timeline, AIGNF stated that on April 11, 2021, Agarwal showed a few Covid-19

symptoms and on April 14 he was declared as Covid-19 positive. He was admitted in the hospital in the critical care unit on April 19, 2021. He was shifted onto ventilator support on April 28 and died on April 19, 2021.

His wife Meenal Agarwal has been struggling with two children and they are yet to receive the compensation promised by the Delhi government. The Delhi government has refused to give a job to her on compassionate grounds stating that there was no such provision to do so.

The Delhi State Hospital’s Nursing Union too has demanded compensation for Rajkumar Agarwal and Chiineeching, who died on May 7, 2021.

DNF secretary general Liladhar Ramchandani pointed out that DNF has been writing about the compensation for almost two years now, but the government has been insensitive to nurses.

The Delhi Nurses Federation has warned that if the government did not pay all the compensation due within seven days, all the nurses under its banner would protest against the injustice. “From January 24 to January 25, 2022, a protest will be registered by wearing a black ribbon on our uniform. From January 27, all the nursing officers will protest peacefully for two hours. After this, if the amount has not been paid to the families of the martyrs, then the entire nursing cadre will go on an indefinite strike without any further notice. Entire responsibility of which will be of the Delhi government,” stated the letter addressed to the Lieutenant Governor.

In addition to DNF, the Delhi State Hospital’s Nurses Union too has warned that if the compensation amounts were not paid to healthcare workers soon, they will launch a protest.

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