Pashu Sandesh, 20th March 2019.
As the whole Nation is gearing for the Holi celebrations, the Veterinary students of Maharashtra are battling for their very own existence. The statewide strike by the Maharashtra Vet students has entered into the 8th day and State Government has not yet provided any solution for their demands. Students are protesting against a baffling order dated 8th March by the State Government which has allowed promotion to the Para Vets for the posts held by Veterinary Doctors. Para Vets are generally Diploma holders and other similar field trained assistants who are posted in Veterinary clinics as assistants to Veterinary Doctors. In Maharashtra, they are also known as livestock supervisors.
Allowing the Para Vets to function as Veterinary doctors will not only jeopardise the health of the animals being treated but will also create a huge job scare for the young Veterinary students who are dreaming to provide their services at the Government Veterinary Hospitals and dispensaries. This also in direct violation of the Indian Veterinary Council Act 1984 which allows only the Registered Veterinary Practitioners to hold the Post of Veterinary Surgeon or Physician. In Maharashtra, the Post is designated as Livestock Developmental Officer (LDO). Maharashtra Government order of 8th March has promoted 125 Assistant Livestock Development to the post of LDO which is a Grade I post. The Indian Veterinary Council Act 1984 allows the Diploma holders to perform only “minor Veterinary service” and present order will enable these Diploma holders to perform procedure which can only be performed by the person who has trained for Five and a Half year at a Veterinary college holding BVSc & AH degree and above which is duly recognised by the Veterinary Council of India.
As such the Livestock of the country is facing the problems arising out of the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics and Hormones in the Animals. On one hand, Government is talking about the doubling of the income of the Farmers through the introduction of cutting edge Technologies such as IVF, ETT and sorted semen into the Livestock to increase their productivity and on the other promotion order of this nature seems in complete contradiction to the same.
The agitation by the Veterinary students of Maharashtra is gaining momentum and harnessing huge support from the fraternity. Dr Sandip Ingle, President Maharashtra Gazetted Veterinarian Association and Vice President Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Federation has announced Hunger strike in support of the Veterinary Students.
To put forward the demands of the Veterinary students, the elected members of the Maharashtra State Veterinary Council, Dr Y D Waghmare and Dr Poharkar met the Commissioner of Maharashtra and submitted a memorandum. In the memorandum, Dr Waghmare has stressed on the importance of the IVC act 1984 and limitations on its implementation at the ground level.
Pashu Chikitsak Mahasangh (PCM) an apex body of the Vets have also taken the cognisance of the situation. PCM president Dr Chirantan Kadian has written letters to the Secretary ADF Government of Maharashtra, Secretary DADF Government of India and Animal Husbandry Commissioner Government of India, in this regard.
Hopefully, the Government of Maharashtra heeds to the demands of the Veterinary students and prevent the possible quackery on the mute and helpless Animals by the hands of the untrained personnel. A diploma holder and field trainee cannot be equated with the BVSc and MVSc Veterinary doctors who have the proper knowledge of the use of Medicines and procedures. Till the time Government of Maharashtra does not roll back the promotion order, we would say for the Maharashtra Government, The Apples are Oranges.