More than Hundreds of students have been protesting for a week now. The students at the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital (HSJIDS) in Chandigarh Punjab declared on Tuesday intensify their ongoing protest. They plan to initiate an indefinite hunger strike as a part of their ongoing protest for an increase in their stipend.
The interns ans students from the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) are demanding that they want to be paid with an amount of stipend that is at par with what the students of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 (GMCH-32) are being offered.
As reported by The Indian Express, Jessica Arora, a BDS intern who led the protest, said, “The students…are continuing their peaceful protest, seeking attention to their demands and the injustice they face. We have been sitting on protest for the last one week. The OPD in the dental institute is suspended. Nobody is listening to us. From today onwards, we have decided to sit on an indefinite chain hunger strike. Two of us will sit together on a hunger strike until our demands are met."
A senior Panjab University officer has stated that, “We received the memorandum. We have assured the students that we will fulfil their demands…their case will be reviewed in light of the stipend BDS and MDS interns get in Punjab. The demand is under consideration.”
As per one of the interns, MDS interns get Rs 10,000 per month, and BDS interns receive Rs 9,000. On the other hand, interns at GMCH-32 reportedly receive Rs 26,300 as their stipend.
The protesting students also claimed taht they have approached the college principal, the Panjab University department of student welfare and the UT health secretary by writing letters, demanding a hike in stipend, that has not been revised since the year 2009.
Before starting their indefinite hunger strike at Gate Number-1 of the university, the protesting students organised a protest march, starting from Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital (HSJIDS). They marched to Vice-Chancellor Professor Renu Vig's office and submitted a memorandum. The students have been protesting for a week, demanding an increase in their stipend, which has remained unchanged since 2009.
The protesting students emphasized that it is essential for Panjab University and the UT authorities to address this matter on an urgent basis. They stated that until a resolution is reached, the normal functioning of the OPD and hospital services will continue to be disrupted.