The Manipuri community residing in Kolkata said that around 300 nurses who left their jobs in various hospitals in West Bengal were compelled to do so due to poor working conditions and unhealthy environment besides racial discrimination and lack of social security.
In a statement, Kshetrimayum Shyamkesho Singh, the president of Manipuris in Kolkata (MIK) on May 19 said that more than 900 nurses and health workers are engaged in their works in West Bengal and helping the people in fighting COVID-19.
“After a strenuous long duty at the hospital, when they come home, Manipuri nurses had to undergo multiple social discrimination, primarily due to their Oriental features. These have increased during the present crisis. There has been a case of spitting upon with racial slurs,” Singh said in the statement.
He further added that most of the girls are young and live in small pockets in various localities.
“This has made them feel very unsafe, insecure and uncomfortable. There have been a few occasions when returning home after a prolonged duty, they have been refused entry at their own society/flat/hostel. When contacted, even hospital administration did not come for help and police help had to be sought. In some cases, they were even refused to use lifts, or not allowed come out to buy essential groceries for food,” Singh said after interacting with the nurses.
He said, apart from that, there are other reasons like lesser salary, shortage of food and mental health issues among others.
It was a major blow for the health sector as around 300 nurses decided to leave their job a few days back.