Sudatta Jain, General Secretary of Akhila Bharata Karmika Sangha has launched an indefinite hunger strike demanding better facilities for people covered under the Employees State Insurance.

Mr. Jain began his fast on Sunday before the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr. Jain said despite several relay hunger strikes over the last three years, the facilities at the ESI hospitals and dispensaries in the city have not improved. “I will call off the fast only if action is taken on our demands,” he said.

Primary among the demands has been restoring bus connectivity from nine ESI dispensaries to the ESI Hospital in Shivabagh. The facility has stopped two weeks ago. The sangha is also demanding a full-time doctor and also testing facilities at the ESI dispensaries. The sangha is also demanding an office of the ESI Regional Office in Mangalore.

The demands also include setting up of a hospital exclusively for beedi workers. Mr. Jain said beedi workers were not getting the required treatment from around 10 dispensaries in the district that were operating between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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