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Volunteers quitting Stalin's pet healthcare scheme
Several volunteers of 'MakkalaiThediMaruthuvam scheme' or healthcare to doorsteps for the elderly, launched by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at Krishnagiri district on August 4, have quit citing low salaries.
Chennai: Several volunteers of 'MakkalaiThediMaruthuvam scheme' or healthcare to doorsteps for the elderly, launched by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at Krishnagiri district on August 4, have quit citing low salaries.
The scheme, launched at Krishnagiri district on August 4, was an instant hit among the elderly and bedridden people with volunteers reaching their homes for sugar tests, blood pressure tests, and other vital tests. However, with low wages an increasing number of volunteers are quitting.
Prassana (27) of Krishnagiri district, who was earlier unemployed, was the first one to join the scheme as a volunteer, but was told that she would be paid an honorarium of Rs 4,500 per month. She was given basic training in checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
While speaking to IANS, the homemaker turned volunteer said, "It was a nice scheme, but the pay is abysmally poor and I have two children, husband, and my parents. While my husband is also working, I am not chipping in much for the family budget and I am forced to quit as near our town there are some good small industries where I get paid up to 12,000 Rs a month and that will help me survive in the tough times. Hence, I am quitting this."
In the garment city of Tiruppur also several women have quit the MakkalaiThediMaruthuvam scheme. Here also the reason for quitting is low remuneration.
Manonmani (23), a volunteer with the scheme while speaking to IANS said, "I am getting a job in a garment factory where a semi-skilled worker is paid Rs 12,500 a month which is Rs 8,000 more than what the government project offers. Survival is important and I can't survive on this money."
MakkalaiThediMaruthuvam scheme officials also said that the salary was poor and this was affecting the project as well with more than 25 per cent of the volunteers quitting the scheme.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian while speaking to IANS said, "It was a major gesture by the Chief Minister to bring quality healthcare at the doorsteps of those who require it including elderly people and those who are bedridden due to various ailments. I will have a discussion with the health department officials and those in-charge of the project and take a call after apprising the Chief Minister also."(IANS)