Higher-UPS at the Sassoon General Hospital have pulled up Anil Gaikwad, the laundry in-charge, for sharing information with MiD DAY on washing machines not being functional at the government hospital.
Instead of taking steps to better the situation at the hospital, the authorities chose to come down hard on employees who spoke to the media. Gaikwad was issued a show-cause notice by the dean that asked him to give an explanation for speaking to the media.
Sassoon dean Dr Ajay Chandanwale even warned Gaikwad he would be transferred and disciplinary action would be taken against him if his explanation were found to be unsatisfactory.
According to the notice, any government servant is not supposed to talk to the media without taking permission from seniors and so action should be taken against Gaikwad.
“No employee is authorised to speak to the media and give information according to government law. The one who breaches it has to face the repercussions as well. And we are not bothered (about) any media coverage and will go ahead with our ways,” Chandanwale said.
A copy of the notice was sent to the chief of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). DMER chief Dr Pravin Shingare said he was yet to receive any communication from the Sassoon dean regarding the matter.
“I have not received any letter till now from the Dean of Sassoon Hospital,” Shingare said. “But as per government protocol, no one except the dean is supposed to give information to the media. In case the concerned person is found guilty, strict action is bound to be taken against him.”
Dalit Panther of India president Bapu Bhosale was critical of the move to stop people from expressing themselves. “In a democratic country like ours we have all the right to put forward our grievances and no one can stop us from doing that.
The government should work towards developing the hospital facilities instead of punishing the whistleblower for speaking up. Moreover, the dean should resign for being so irresponsible instead of harassing the hospital staff,” Bhosale said.
Sarva Majdoor Sanghatana president Dinesh Kuchekar said all employees were solidly behind Gaikwad. “All the employees of Class III and IV are supporting Gaikwad because he has not done anything wrong. The dean is being a dictator and not doing anything good for the hospital in particular or for society at large,” Kuchekar said.