Patna : A fresh charter of demands was submitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director, G.K.Singh on Thursday, in Patna by students who were on their third consecutive day of strike.
Dr. Singh posted a message on the You tube for the striking students, in response to their communication, requesting them to return to their classrooms assuring them that their interests would be looked after. “You have experienced a lot. I am touched. I will always work for your welfare… return to the classes.”
However, the students seem determined to stick to their demands and continue with the stir, till the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare intervened. This, they felt was necessary, as issues pertaining to construction work and lack of faculty could be resolved only with the help of the ministry.
“We have sought an appointment with the Union health minister or a senior ministry official. We need at least a deadline to call off our stir. Alternatively, we will intensify our protests and stall OPD and administrative functioning from Friday,” said one of them.
The other reason to continue with the strike and pursuance of demands instead of returning to classes was that they had yet to choose a leader from amongst them.While the students continued their stir on the third day, the AIIMS Faculty held a meeting, with 44 out of the 55 on roll teachers present for it.
“We felt most of the demands of the students are genuine. Their frustration is deep rooted and was bound to translate into the kind of protests we are seeing today,” an assistant professor admitted. He acknowledged the fact that of the 300-odd sanctioned posts of teachers in AIIMS-P had yet to be filled. The teachers nevertheless appealed to the students to return to study.
The students were also remorseful about the fact that AIIMS, Patna, lacked super specialty departments like gastroenterology, nephrology and urology, among others. “Look at AIIMS-Rishikesh. It has started PG courses unlike AIIMS Patna. Lack of emergency care, blood bank, student labs and equipment besides inadequate number of beds and makeshift functioning of OPD and IPD are what ail our AIIMS in Patna,” said a student.
Their memorandum to the Director, also raised issues like campus water logging, non barricading of hostels and improper sanitation. It also mentioned infra and manpower problems. In the memorandum, the students went further to raise demands for a student senate, renovation of canteens, a proper academic calendar, Wi-Fi facility on the campus and transparency in the tender process.
In an attempt to make their voice heard at the ministerial level, they uploaded many tweets on Wednesday and Thursday, tagging them to Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister, JP Nadda; proof in the form of photographs of water logged areas and brick and mortar all over the campus were also attached.
The tweets also have renowned journalists tagged with them. Union ministers Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj and Prakash Javadekar were also tagged.
“Why open more AIIMS when older ones are crying for care?” asked one tweet. Another added they (students) came with high hopes which are dashed now.
Facebook saw a campaign launched by the students pasting newspaper clippings of their stir.