On 30th July 2012 , TN Labour blog posted an article titled ‘Jacqueline’s suicide’ about a young nurse from CSI hospital in Kancheepuram, who attempted suicide to draw attention to the oppressive work environment in the hospital.
In response to the article, the Medical Suptd. of CSI Kancheepuram, whom Jacqueline and other staff members had held responsible for the hostile working conditions in the hospital, sent an email response, which was forwarded to TN Labour blog and is enclosed below. Instead of responding concretely to the critical issues that were thrown up by Jacqueline’s drastic action, the tone and content of MS’s response has been accusatory and in bad taste, reflecting both class and caste biases.
A copy of the letter from MS was forwarded by the TN Labour blog to CSI staff members and Kanchi Makkal Mandram (KMM) for their response. A detailed response which illustrates the tyrannical and whimsical actions by the MS and violations of work ethics was received from the CSI staff and KMM by the TN Labourblog. The rejoinder is enclosed below.
On 18th August, TN Labour blog went to Kancheepuram to discuss with the CSI staff in person about the MS’s rejoinder and their response to it, but due to an unfortunate incident could not interact with the staff. A CSI staff nurse Elisabeth from the same hospital, who had been part of the previous strikes at the hospital, for which she had been allegedly threatened and penalized by the MS, had committed suicide by hanging herself that morning. Elisabeth had been on a two days casual leave from the hospital and was at home when she took this extreme step. While the cause of her of suicide is yet to be ascertained, it again raises issues about working condition, stress at work and general well being of workers and working class which is intricately linked to their work and social spaces.