PANJIM: The malaria health workers may finally get a reprieve with Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar announcing that he has given appointment letters to the malaria workers.
The workers who have been striking since 2008 can finally heave a sigh of relief after several hunger strikes, unkept promises, abuses, twists and turns to their long drawn saga.
Manohar Parrikar had announced that he would solve the problems of the malaria them had joined the Health department in the malaria section as daily wage workers in 1996. Later on more joined them and their number went up to 124. Of these some workers left the job and 87 remained employed. Their daily wage
was Rs 58 then. In 1998 a contract system was started and they were absorbed for a salary of Rs 1,500 and they received increments every two years till they were laid off.
This March they were reemployed on a salary of Rs 6,600 a month.
In 2008, after they were laid off and after their subsequent protest all the workers were interviewed but only 11 were recruited. The workers allege that the other posts were sold at the rate of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh each.
There was talk that the previous health minister Vishwajit Rane was hell bent against re-employing these workers, which was the reason why the resolution of the issue took so long.