Physios to stage two-day protest at Jantar Mantar

They have been demanding a central council for the last 20 years but to no avail; more than 1000 people are expected to participate

On the lines of Medical Council of India (MCI) and Dental Council of India (DCI), the Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP) has reiterated its demand for the formation of an independent central physiotherapy council. Apparently, the physiotherapists have been demanding for a council for the last 20 years. 

Hot spot: Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

This time, they have decided to the Anna-way, by staging a Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar. More than 1,000 physiotherapists across India are taking part in the two-day peace protest as part of the Satyagraha. 

List of demands
They have demanded protection of their titles, formation of an independent council, revision of recruitment rules, pay scales upgrade and creation of specialty posts in government sector. In a letter written to the union health minister, IAP has laid down its grievances and has informed that some of its members would go on a hunger strike for two days as a part of the protest. Prof Dr Umashankar Mohanty, president, IAP, said, "Formation of a central council would ensure standardisation of the education and quality of physiotherapists in the country." 

Need for council
"The council will work for the improvement and upgrade of the profession. At present, India has 65,023 physiotherapists and it is imperative that they should have a council to bring about some order and discipline," he said.

What has irked the physiotherapists is that their demand for a council for the past twenty years, akin to the medical council, Dental Council and AYUSHI (Council for Ayurveda and Homeopathy) has remained unanswered by the Government of India. Out of 413 colleges, 116 colleges offering a programme in physiotherapy have been closed down in the last three years due to lack of opportunities.

Missing in action
"The bill for having a central council has been discussed thrice in Parliament. Twice it was decided to have a central council but there has been no action on the same as yet," said Dr Sanjiv Kumar Jha, general secretary, IAP.

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