Delhi faces surging dengue cases as DBC workers prepare for indefinite strike

 In response to a severe outbreak of dengue in 1996, workers were hired for dengue control. In 2006, they became known as DBC workers


The anti-malaria ekta karmachari Union, representing around 2,800 dengue breeding checking (DBC) workers and 2000 field workers in Delhi, has announced an indefinite strike commencing on July 31 if its long standing demands are not met. The union is seeking regularisation of their jobs, improved working conditions, enhanced health benefits, including health cards, and support for the families of deceased workers.

Devanand Sharma, president of the union, stated that despite their crucial role in combating diseases like dengue and malaria, their grievances have been ignored by the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD). The workers complain of excessive workloads, inadequate health coverage, and only one casual leave granted per month. They assert that the MCD has not taken adequate steps to address their concerns, leading to this drastic measure of an indefinite strike.

In their strike notice, copies of which have been sent to CM Arvind Kejriwal, and V K Saxena, lieutenant governor, the union demands job regularisation, which the MCD has failed to implement so far. The situation has escalated to a critical point, with the workers’ demands remaining unaddressed, leading to the decision to go on strike.

The timing of the strike is concerning, as Delhi is currently facing an increased threat of vector-borne diseases due to monsoon rains and water logging in some areas of the city. Dengue, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, poses a significant public health risk, and the absence of DBC workers could exacerbate the situation.

Shelly Oberoi, mayor of Delhi, has assured that the demands of the striking workers will be carefully examined. She also urged the public to cooperate with DBC staff during household visits and warned of penalties if larvae breeding is found during inspections.

Dengue control workers were initially hired in 1996 after a severe outbreak of the disease, and in 2006, they were designated as DBC workers. With over 160 dengue cases reported in Delhi by mid-July this year, the highest number for this period since 2018, the importance of these workers in disease prevention cannot be overstated.

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

two × 3 =