State

Mental health experts send queries to govt on workers’ rights

TPPM ready to help distressed frontliners

Shillong, June 2: The Trained Psychotherapeutic Professionals of Meghalaya (TPPM) has sent a questionnaire to Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who also holds the Labour portfolio, on workers’ rights and offered help to mitigate mental health problems.

In a letter dated June 2, TPPM wanted to know whether the Labour Department is monitoring offices and organisations to ensure that workers’ rights are not violated.

There are 12 questions on the basic rights of workers and duties of the government.

The organisation, which had strongly criticised Tynsong for belittling mental health problems a few days back, said, “Frontline workers are the most vulnerable right now and as we are in contact with them and guiding them handle their worries and pain, we wish to do more but we cannot do so if our information, especially on workers’ rights and grievance redressal, is limited.”

“Further, we also wish to express that many frontline workers are having difficulties getting transportation due to the lockdown measures and to expect low paid health and other frontline workers to arrange and pay for their own transport to and fro is inhuman as we need them right now to be on their best health and spirits,” it added.

The group of mental health expert suggested to the government that frontline workers, especially those on Covid-19 duty, should be given “high-quality” food.

“There is also a need to have more workers in duty to relieve each other in short shifts as we can understand that wearing the full PPE suit and handling high-risk cases is not an easy task. We owe it to them to ensure that their strength and immunity is not hindered while on duty,” TPPM said.

TPPM emailed copies of the letter to Ryntihlang Rapthap, secretary Labour Department, and Sabrella B Marak, Labour Commissioner, using the email addresses “found on Key Contacts | Meghalaya Government Portal but it appears that the email provide for the Labour commissioner was not working”.

A copy was also sent to the office of the labour commissioner in Lower Lachaumiere on the email address labour-meg@nic.in

“The letter and questionnaire are not to belittle anyone but to give us the information that can help all frontline workers as the information that people have right now on workers’ rights are very vague and does not suggest any steps for help or grievance redressal,” TPPM said.

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