Mysuru: For government servants, especially teachers skipping the mandatory election duty is a difficult task however, if they have genuine medical reason and if district health authorities find that they need to undergo rest then they can be exempted from doing election duty. Thus, there are several such personnel making a beeline to the city doctors seeking medical certificate advising them to undergo rest.
Several doctors in the city admitted to having received such unusual requests, and being under pressure to issue sick certificates. Nearly 1500 government servants, majority of them teachers applied to the district election authorities requesting that they be exempted from doing election duty. Among nearly 1200 applications which the district election authorities received, 412 have been accepted by the committee formed exclusively to oversee their request under the chairmanship of District health officer Dr Basavaraj.
Speaking to Newskarnataka Dr Basavaraj, District Health Officer said “Election duty is mandatory for all and in case if they can’t attend they should give valid reason with proper medical certificates. Out of the nearly 1200 applications which we have received, 412 applications have been accepted since they have valid reasons and medical certificates to prove their claim. Those employees who are pregnant, having cancer, who are under breast feeding (below six months) and who are under dialysis have been exempted from doing election duty. The request of those applications which didn’t contain valid medical report, including medical experts report and investigation report has been rejected. More than 60 percent of such requests have been rejected. Among the major reasons for seeking sick leaves is lower back pain”. He also mentioned that there were few fake certificates which the committee rejected without any second thought.
Further he added that since there was shortage of staffs for election duty, one can’t get exemptions easily from the committee. “Only for most serious and genuine cases we have given permission for their request,” added Dr Basavaraj.
On condition of anonymity several specialists, including orthopedic surgeon said that many employees urge them to issue certificates advising rest. “People with various issues including Blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac problem and back pain come to specialist for the medical certificate advising them for rest. Some people are genuinely not well, even though they have undergone surgeries months ago. Travelling to far off polling centres becomes difficult for them. It is not only during election time but it is also during evaluation time many teachers urge them to issue certificate advising rest,” added a specialist.
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