Published: 22nd December 2022
Haryana bond policy row: Students write letters in blood to PM Modi, President Murmu
One of the letters was sent by students of BPS Khanpur, while the other was sent by doctors from PGIMS Rohtak
Two letters drafted in blood were sent to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the President's Office by government medical college students of Haryana, who have been agitating against the state's bond policy. Yesterday, December 21, marked the 51st day of protest.
One of the letters was sent by students of Bhagat Phool Singh (BPS) Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Khanpur to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while the other one, addressed to President of India Droupadi Murmu was sent by MBBS doctors from Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak. The students have addressed their concerns and demands regarding the bond policy in the letters.
A meeting between the students and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar took place on December 1, in which Khattar had proposed changes in the policy in line with the doctors' demands. However, the changes were orally promised, and protesting, the students demanded that a gazetted notification be released immediately. The said notification was finally released yesterday, December 21.
"It is true that we were not satisfied with the proposed changes in the first place. But they are considerable," said Akash Singh, a student from PGIMS. Also, yesterday, a delegation of the students went to meet Union Minister of Health Dr Mansukh Mandaviya regarding the issues with the bond policy. "The meeting was fruitful. Dr Mandaviya said that he was in talks with the CM and other ministry officials and a solution would be in place soon," Akash said.
What were the problems with the policy?
Initially, the proposed bond policy denoted an amount of Rs 40 lakh to be paid at the time of admission to MBBS courses and the bond period was seven years. Students complained that the amount was too high and the period too long. Moreover, they argued that the policy was unfair since it did not guarantee them jobs.
Later, after meeting the students, CM Khattar stated that the bond amount would be reduced to Rs 30 lakh, with an additional ten per cent concession for women doctors, and the bond period would be reduced to five years, including the time period of higher studies, if any doctor wished to continue their postgraduation. Khattar also announced that jobs would be provided to students within a year of completion of MBBS.
Students, however, were not content. They wanted the bond amount reduced further to Rs 10 lakh and the period reduced to one year. All the same, they wanted the proposed changes to be published in a gazetted notification first. "Now that it is released, we are discussing our future course of action," Akash informed.