Being Intern – IV: Strike and Stipend


An intern in a hospital has to face a lot of problems. For e.g. The depression about his ranks at Bhatia, The sheer futility of working in gynae, Medicine double-em, The fact that his crush of four years is going out with his PG/SR, and Radiology SR who thinks “adhe ghante baad ana” is a valid answer at all times.

But then, we interns mostly choose to ignore the above, and concentrate over the two main issues:
1. Yaar strike karni hai-saala casualty me koi intern pita ya nahi-koi to reason banao
2. Stipend is my birth right, and I shall have it.

Firstly about the stipend. The hype about an LNH intern’s first stipend, or as the Hindi dictionary calls it, ‘Chillar’, starts building up right around MIDCON. Mostly because the alcohol at the after-party shows us the alternate way of life. But also because within 3 months of internship, that initial euphoria is over, the reality has kicked our rear hard and we start dreading the decision of opting for MBBS.

Around the same time, what appears as stipend to the intern appears to be a Lottery to everyone else. Most people around you have the word ‘treat’ ready for you along with date and place if you dare to ask them ‘Kab lega bata’.

For me, the fact that the annual total falls under the category of ‘non-taxable income limit’, brings tears to my eyes.

Now about the strike. It seems to be a ritual of sorts rather than an honest effort. And it is answered mostly by palliative measures. A quick look at what was done after violence against interns happened in past few years.
2005 batch: CCTV cameras were installed in the hospital.
2006 batch: Wiring was done for the cameras, and were finally connected to screens.
2007 batch: Cameras were again tilted back to the areas they were supposed to record after they were all found to be facing the roof. (Daryaganj people are naughty I tell you)
So, 2008 batch is thinking of going on a strike before someone gets beaten up. And for an issue that can’t be solved by CCTVs.
The issue is about what an intern’s job is. Or frankly, “Yaar proxy wali bakchodi hi badiya thi, ab to roz bhagna padta hai”. It started after someone objected at MAMC confessions about going for echo dates. But it gained popularity only after we realised that ‘bc’ was also there in the confession.

All this has been written because I’m currently posted in gynae, and hence I am addicted to non-productive work. No offence meant my dear friends. 🙂


About Ankit Sharma

Doctor and Drummer in making... Movie-buff since birth.
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