Delhi

400 guards at Safdarjung Hospital sacked after years of service

According to Delhi Aspatal Theka Karamchari Union, around 400 security guards at the hospital have been sacked by their contract agency in the name of “contract renewal”. 

According to Delhi Aspatal Theka Karamchari Union, around 400 security guards at the hospital have been sacked by their contract agency in the name of “contract renewal”. 

When Dashrath Ram, 60, a security guard working at the Safdarjung Hospital for over 22 years, was sacked by his contract agency on Friday, his immediate concern was where will he get another job to feed his family of 11. Mr. Ram, who earned around Rs 21,000 per month, said his savings were too little to run his household even for a month.

The 60-year-old isn’t the only one staring at this uncertainty. According to Delhi Aspatal Theka Karamchari Union (hospital contract workers’ union), around 400 security guards working at the hospital for years have been sacked by the agency in the name of “contract renewal”. The union also alleged that the contract agency had given an assurance that people who are below the age of 55, have cleared Class X exams and are taller than 5.5 ft will not be sacked, but their names are also there in the termination list.

A source at Safdarjung Hospital said that around 300-400 security guards were sacked, but the hospital administration did not give any official confirmation.

No response was received from the contract agency too on the union’s allegation of “mass termination”.

Paid minimum wages’

In a letter to the Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital and the Union Ministry of Health, the union stated that all the contract workers were paid minimum wages irrespective of their contract, Mr. Animesh Das, president, Delhi Committee, Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), said. Mr. Das said the guards were removed in an “arbitrary way and without any notice”.

However, Ramesh Singh, 57, another security guard who lost his job, said he received a notice regarding his termination on June 14. Mr. Singh, who had been working at Safdarjung for 12 years, said he and his son were the only earning members in his family of five and now he was worried because all the burden had fallen on his son.

He said he was earning around ₹20,000 after deduction of provident fund and the money helped him take care of two daughters — aged 22 and 26 — and several other responsibilities. “I can go back to Bihar, my home town, but how will I manage the expenses?” he said.

Another security guard, Inderjeet Paswan, 42 said he did not receive any notice or a phone call regarding the termination. He said he earned around ₹22,000 and was the sole breadwinner in his family of eight. 

Mr. Paswan said he had no savings as he spent all that he earned on the education of his four children, housing, meals, medical expenses, and transport. Mr. Paswan said he came to Delhi from Bihar with his family in 2011, and now he has no option but go back to the village.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2022 3:45:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/400-guards-at-safdarjung-hospital-sacked-after-years-of-service/article65593849.ece