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Maharashtra minister has no time to meet Unani doctors protesting against discrimination

Tuesday March 29, 2011 09:16:36 PM, Correspondent

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Mumbai: Despite intense heat in Mumbai, over 500 Unani doctors from various districts in Maharashtra sat on a day-long dharna at Azad Maidan near CST March 29 to protest against the discrimination meted to them by the state government. More than the soaring temperature, however, it was the refusal by the Maharashtra Health Minister to give time for a hearing that disturbed them the most.


"The Congress-NCP led ruling alliance government in Maharashtra always makes big claims about the initiatives it is taking for the welfare of the minorities. However, its performance is actually opposite. This is evident from the fact that the government is not ready to give us a quota in the government job, something which is already given in other states and agreed by its own government at the centre", Medical Council Member (MCM) Dr. Khurshid Alam said while speaking to


The Unani doctors are fighting with the Maharashtra government since about a year for getting a quota in the government job in line with the one given to the Ayurvedic doctors in the state. Today's protest at Azad Maidan was organised after the state government failed to accept their demand. It was supported by more than a dozen Unani doctors associations and was attended by Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi, Anjuman-e-Islam Chief Zahir Qazi, activists Teesta Setalvad, Karim Salar of Iqra Unani College, Dr khurshid Alam, Dr Shafiq of All India Tibbia Unaini Congress, MLC SQ Zama and others. 


"This despite the fact that we have given to the state government on several occasions in the past all the relevant documents and concerned government notifications, which keep the Unani doctors at par with the Ayurvedic doctors and gives us as well the job guarantee in the government hospitals", he added.


The central government notification considers Unani and Ayurvedic doctors at par, and in accordance with other states have allotted job quotas for them in the government hospitals. The Maharashtra government, though gives job quota to the Ayurvedic doctors, doesn't extend the same to the Unani doctors.


"What is astonishing for us is that the state Health Minister, Suresh Shetty far from meeting our demands, does not even have time to listen to what we are telling", he said.


"This is nothing but utter step-motherly attitude towards the minorities, which is hallmark of the government in Maharashtra, despite its proclaimed commitment to work for the welfare of the minorities", Chairman of the Jalgaon College Abdul Karim Salar said to


Interestingly, Arif Naseem Khan, Minister of Minority Department in Government of Maharashtra, in a meeting with the state officials in June 2010 had given directions to make provision in this regard. However, almost a year after the minister's directives, the officials have not done anything so far.






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