Nearly all government-run services are closed in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state today. Everything from schools, government offices, and even hospitals have closed their doors.
It comes as employee unions call for a pay increase among other demands.
Over 450,000 employees have gone on strike, affecting all government-run institutions. But there is an exception…emergency room services.
Many have had to return after going to the hospital to find no nurses or doctors to attend to them.
[G.M. Mir, Patient’s Husband]: (English)
"All the wards are totally empty, there is nobody, because health facilities are lacking and of this strike called by the employees; the employees were demanding their different remunerations. But as I feel, one should feel that health is very important, heath sector should be exempted. Today, I am an individual who has suffered after coming a long way to this place and I could not find any doctor."
Mir says most of the wards in hospitals are so dirty and that trash cans are full of waste materials without a single janitor on call to take out the trash.
[Mohammad Ashraf Lala, Patient’s Relative]: (urdu, male)
“All of us are facing a lot of problems due to closed hospitals and offices. We had to visit the doctor, but no one is available here. There is no one in the ward. The out patient department is also closed."
No word on how long the strike will last.