ISLAMABAD    -   Dozens of Lady Health Workers (LHWs) spent a night under open sky in cold weather but remained stuck to their demands of providing financial and service structure relief by the government.

Hundreds of LHWs from all provinces on Wednesday reached the federal capital and spent two days and one night but remained undeterred. LHWs though held few rounds of talks with the government officials but the deadlock remained intact and the government remained unsuccessful to convince them to vacate the protesting venue.

Shortage of basic human necessities at the protesting place though created difficulties for them during night, however, majority of them decided to stay there until their demands were met. Their leadership also threatened to boycott the next anti-polio drive if the government did not fulfil their demands and provide them a relief package.

Central President LHWs Rukhsana Anwar said that they are ready to talk with the government but must be fruitful also.

“Protesting LHWs spent a day in severe heat and night in severe cold weather under open sky on this road,” she said. Rukhsana Anwar said that the government team previous night contacted us but it had nothing better to offer us.

“Till the government announces providing us service structure we will not move from here,” she said.

Central President LHWs also said that government must restore the seven suspended LHWs and increase salaries as well.

She added that if talks failed with the government again, LHWs will not be the part of next anti-polio drive.  

“Only words cannot work, government has to notify our demands and must not test our nerves,” she said.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services (NHS) Dr. Faisal Sultan talking to media said that government has noted demands of LHWs but the protesters are going hard on themselves by staging a sit-in.

He said that provincial governments have to resolve the matter of the LHWs and federal has talked to the Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid on it.

He also said that Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar will be also taken on board on the issue.

“Demands will be considered and government will look on which demands could be met,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) delegation comprising Mehnaz Aziz and Khel Das visited LHWs and assured that the matter will be raised in the Parliament. PML-N legislatures addressing the protesters said that LHWs play significant role in anti-polio and anti-dengue drives but now are on roads as their justified demands are not being met by the government. They said that LHWs from all provinces are doing tough jobs in the health sector but are not getting fair share in their personal life benefits.

“Government deliberately has become deaf and blind and pretending that it is not seeing this protest,” said MNA Khel Das. He said that the matter will be raised in the Parliament and government must accept just demands of the LHWs.