Strikes cannot hold patients hostage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 10, 2018

Editorial

Strikes cannot hold patients hostage

Punish those responsible for the death of children

During the two-day transport strike, from October 29 to October 30, at least three critically ill children died on their way to hospital. The transport workers did not let the ambulances or, in one particular case, a rickshaw, which were carrying sick kids, to proceed to the hospital.

One of the victims was Shukria, an 11-month-old baby girl, suffering from diarrhoea and pneumonia, who was in urgent need of hospitalisation. As the striking workers prevented the auto-rickshaw in which the mother and baby were travelling in from proceeding, in a desperate move to save her daughter's life, the mother took a rickshaw. But in an act of blatant cruelty, the workers let the air of its tyres out and were jeering at the plight of the baby and her mother.

Commuters all across the country had to face immense sufferings due to the recent transport strike. The striking transport workers did not stop at obstructing people's right to movement; they also prevented critically ill patients from getting medical attention. If they wanted amendments to the newly approved Road Transport Act 2018, they should have found a more humane way to press home their demands. Holding people hostage for getting their demands met is just not acceptable.

It gives us some solace that the HC has issued a rule upon the inspector general of police to take action against the people responsible for the death of these children. Therefore, we hope the culprits will be apprehended and given exemplary punishment. At the same time, we urge the government to formulate a strict law that during any such strikes in future, ambulances or other transports carrying patients and going to the hospital cannot be obstructed.

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