Lahore: Pay Stipend: Saeeda Waheed Fatima Memorial prospective nurses take to The Mall
LAHORE, Feb 3: Students of Saeeda Waheed Fatima Memorial Hospital College of Nursing on Thursday demonstrated outside the Punjab Assembly to register their protest against non-payment of stipend to them for the last six months.
Earlier (on Dec 13 last year), they had walked a good 15 kilometres to the Jati Umra residence of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in protest against denial of stipend. Kulsoom Nawaz promised them that their demand would be considered on a priority.
Witnesses said the students encircled Faisal Chowk by forming a human chain and hit out at the Punjab health department for its poor response to their genuine demand. They vent anger by blocking the thoroughfare to traffic for three hours.
There was a traffic mess on adjoining roads like Davies Road, Jail Road, Lahore Canal, Kashmir Road, Fatima Jinnah Road, Hall Road, Cooper Road and partly Ferozepur Road from Kalma Chowk to Mozang Chungi.
The students chanted slogans against the health department and the Punjab government which, they said, had been denying them a Rs5,000 monthly stipend for the last six months. As the protesters refused to budge, women police were also called out but they too failed to stop them.
District Officer (Environment) Tariq Zaman held negotiations with the students. Also, Additional Secretary (Health) Daud Mahmood assured the students that a grant of Rs30 million had been released for the payment of stipend.
The protesters dispersed only when the additional secretary showed them the cheque of the Punjab government, released on Jan 28, 2011, in the name of Saeeda Waheed College of Nursing and a receipt of the institution when it was delivered to its administration.
Interestingly, the receipt was bearing the date Feb 3, 2011 — the day of their protest on The Mall.