Residents said they had to travel for over an hour to get access to quality healthcare

Residents and members of various associations sat on a day-long hunger strike in Ambattur on Saturday, demanding a government hospital and government schools in the locality.

Nearly 250 persons participated in the demonstration organised jointly by All India Students Association, Uzhaipor Urimai Iyakkam and Revolutionary Youth Association. People living in western suburbs between Padi and Tiruvallur either have go to Tiruvallur government hospital or Kilpauk Medical College Hospital for treatment.

There are no government hospitals on the 35 km-stretch between these two localities connected by the accident-prone Chennai Tiruvallur High Road.

R. Mohan, district president of Uzhaipor Urimai Iyakkam, said that the few health posts of Chennai Corporation or the Avadi municipality were not sufficient to meet residents’ requirements. Several residents, who cannot afford treatment in private hospitals, travel for over an hour on the CTH Road for medical care in the nearest government hospital. A government general hospital in Ambattur was necessary.

Other long-pending demands included the sanction of more government schools, especially for boys and a government college. He said that Ambattur had only a government girls' higher secondary school. Boys, who cannot afford education in private and government-aided schools, tend to drop out, he added.

At least four government schools were essential for students in Kalyanapuram, Mangalapuram, Kamarajapuram, Indira Nagar and Thiruvalluvar Nagar.

K. Bharathi, national secretary of Revolutionary Youth Association, said that many Chennai Corporation-run schools in Ambattur were either primary or middle schools. The civic body must upgrade some of them to higher secondary schools. The private schools must also display on notice boards information about the admissions made under the Right to Education Act .

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