A foot march – Chalo Gangtok – taken out from Gyalshing in West Sikkim, demanding better medical facilities at the District Hospital in Gyalshing, finally reached the State capital on Wednesday.
The foot march, initiated by the Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum (SPYF), was started from the district headquarters of West Sikkim, Gyalshing, on January 20 and after covering a distance of around 123 kilometres, the protestors reached the State capital on Wednesday evening.
After reaching Gangtok, the protestors staged a dharna at Titanic Park here and shouted slogans in support of their demands.
The police asked the protestors to disperse as they did not have any prior permission to stage protest at Titanic Park but the SPYF members refused to talk to the police and continued their protest till the filing of this report.
The protestors announced that they would continue their dharna until their demands are fulfilled in reality.
Speaking to media persons, SPYF executive members stated that despite written assurance from the State Health Minister on August 3 last year to fulfil the demands of SPYF within three months, nothing has been done till date.
So the organisation took out the foot march to make the government hear the voice of the people louder. They stated the movement would be continued until all their demands are not fulfilled.
The organisation started the movement in 2017 demanding improvement in the health care facilities in the Gyalshing district hospital with a signature campaign.
The signature campaign continued from December 2017 to January 2018 and hundreds of signatures were collected in a memorandum from the people of every section.
The memorandum with signatures of hundreds of people was later submitted to the Sikkim Chief Minister who gave verbal assurance of fulfilling all the demands at the earliest.
Copies of the memorandum were also submitted to the Health Minister, Health Secretary, DC of West and Chief Medical Officer of the district hospital and all of them had assured of working on the demand of the people.
But even after five months of submission of the memorandum, no concrete action has been taken.
In protest against the government inaction, around 1500 people of West Sikkim came out in the support of a march-cum-demonstration on July 28, 2018 at Gyalshing.
The SPYF members also staged a dharna in front of the office of State Health Minister and after 23 hours of the dharna, the Health Minister gave a written assurance.
But the Health Minister’s assurance is yet to be materialised.
“No concrete changes come in the condition of the district hospital and the people of West Sikkim have still been facing trouble. There will be no compromise on the health issue of the people. The district hospital should get all the basic health facilities,” the SPYF leaders added.