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Polio Workers: Death-Defying Job but No Wages on Time

Quetta – Despite the clear directives of Chief Secretary Balochistan, the frontline polio workers were not paid their wages of September campaign in Balochistan.

“The frontline workers are supposed to be paid right after the campaign during the month of September,” a lady polio worker based in Quetta said.

An official of Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Balochistan confirmed that the polio workers are yet to be paid but declined to further comment. “The districts will soon submit the details and the DDM cards so that the process will go smoothly,” he said.

The province was criticized at national and international level for not paying the wages of polio workers on time. Despite working in a death-defying environment in Quetta and other areas of Balochistan, the workers were never paid on time.

Only reward in this unsafe job is wages upon which our complete livelihood depends – Polio Workers.

The three-day anti-polio drive was started in Quetta on September 13th and Chief Secretary Balochistan, Saifullah Chatta, directed the government officials concerned and partner agencies to ensure that the frontline workers are paid on time. However, his directives seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

“The only reward in this unsafe job is wages upon which our complete livelihood is,” another worker in Quetta said. The polio workers requested anonymity because she thinks she will be singled out and will be punished for this.

The next anti-polio drive will start in Quetta by October 10th while in 10 others districts on October 13th. It will create problems to launch a successful campaign with maximum coverage as the frontline workers are not paid their wages for the previous campaign.

Staff report

Published in The Balochistan Point on October 2, 2015

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