Dated: January 23, 2021
Sub: Medical Insurance to all Railway Employees
Ref.: (i) Railway Board’s letter No. E(W)2020/Misc./Dashboard-GIS dated 04.08.2020, 27.10.2020 and 30.12.2020
(ii) AIRF’s letter No.AIRF/71 dated 06.08.2020, No.AIRF/101 dated 16.09.2020 and 19.11.2020
Your kind attention is invited towards AIRF’s letter bearing number even dated 19.11.2020, addressed to Director General(Human Resources), Railway Board(photocopy enclosed for kind perusal), whereby this Federation had elaborately explained the facts necessitating in-house system of medical facilities presently available for Serving/Retired Railwaymen and their dependent family members.
As we have already explained, keeping in view peculiar nature of duties of the Railwaymen, who work under various arduous conditions in all weathers 24X7 throughout the year for keeping the wheels of the Indian Railways moving to ensure overall development of the country, the existing medical facilities were created for them and their dependent family members.
It would be pertinent to mention here that, even in the Colonial Days, British Rulers had recognised the need of medical facilities for Railwaymen and established many Dispensaries and Hospitals during those days. Even after the Independence, Medical System over the Indian Railways has been expanded to a greater extant to meet medical requirements of the Railwaymen and their families.
Medical facilities, so available for the Railwaymen, have been achieved by the Organised Labour after sustained struggle and persuasions in the wake of aforementioned peculiar working conditions.
It is a matter of concern that, Railway Board have not given any cognizance to AIRF’s viewpoint, already communicated to Railway Board vide AIRF’s letter dated 19.11.2020, addressed to D.G.(H.R.), Railway Board, and without consulting Organised Labour, who are representing more than one million Railway Employees and equal number of Retired Railway Employees(total number of beneficiaries being around one crore), Railway Board have been proceeding ahead for Medical Insurance to all the Railway Employees. This arbitrary change in the policy of medical assistance to Railway Employees is bound to create a lot of anguish in the minds of Serving as well as Retired Railway Employees.
AIRF, vide its communications No.AIRF/71 dated 06.08.2020, No.AIRF/101 dated 16.09.2020 and 19.11.2020, has already objected to Railway Board’s proposal of Medical Insurance to all the Railway Employees, quoting various reasons, but instead of holding discussion with the Recognised Federations, further informations are being sought by the Railway Board from the Zonal Railways and Production Units, vide their letter No.E(W)2020/Misc./Dashboard-GIS dated 30.12.2020, with a view to proceed further in the matter.
AIRF is of the firm opinion that, Railway Administration should not compel and force Serving as well as Retired Railway Employees to accept the proposal of Medical Insurance being initiated by the Railway Board.
It would, therefore, be quite appropriate that, such type of exercises, which are bound to create avoidable discontentment and resentment among Serving as well as Retired Railway Employees, should be stalled immediately. We presume that, this exercise is being undertaken to appease some of the Corporates who are dealing in Insurance Business.
Railwaymen are already in endurance because of National Pension System(NPS), therefore, AIRF would not accept any kind of Medical Insurance to Railway Employees on Indian Railways, which would further aggravate the situation.
AIRF sincerely hope that, Railway Board will take it seriously, and stall such type of exercises, in the larger interest of Industrial Harmony, otherwise we will be forced to launch a massive agitation against anti-labour policies of the Railway Board.
This may kindly be treated as “Most Urgent”.
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)