February 18, 2024
Renaming of Health-Center Ignites Controversy in Ladakh
Health Ladakh

Renaming of Health-Center Ignites Controversy in Ladakh

Renaming of Health Center Ignites Controversy in Ladakh

Renaming of Health Center Ignites Controversy in Ladakh

The decision by the Central government to rename health centres as Ayushman Arogya Mandirs has ignited a contentious debate in Ladakh Union Territory, drawing opposition from influential Buddhist organisations and elected representatives.

The move, initiated by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in November 2023, involves rebranding Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) as Ayushman Arogya Mandirs with the tagline Arogyam Parmam Dhanam.

Despite the ministry’s directive to states and Union Territories to implement this change by December 31, 2023, and allocating funds for the rebranding exercise, the decision has faced significant resistance in Ladakh.

The Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) has strongly objected, terming it as an affront to the sentiments of the people in the two-district Union Territory.

In a letter to the chief executive councillors of Leh Hill Councils, Chering Dorjey Lakrook, the president of LBA, expressed deep concern. He conveyed his disapproval of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s order, to rename government medical aid centres in Ladakh.

In letters addressed to the chief executive councillors of the Hill Councils in both Leh and Kargil districts, Lakrook stated, “The recent order… is unfortunate and tantamount to playing with the sentiments of the people of Ladakh.” He urged the heads of elected bodies to intervene and rescind the decision, “India is a secular country, and using religious names in government departments is unconstitutional and unacceptable.”

The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Leh councillors adopted a similar direct approach in their letters to the Chief Executive Councilors of both Leh and Kargil. “We, the councillors of LAHDC Leh, urge you to take serious cognizance of the public sentiments being disturbed by the recent decision… to name all Public Health Care Centers as Ayushman Arogya Mandir,” they said.

The councillors requested immediate action to repeal the order, considering the potential hindrance to universal accessibility of health centres.

“We the following councillors of LAHDC Leh urge you to take serious cognisance of the public sentiments being disturbed by the recent decision of the Union Government of India to name all Public Health Care Centers as Ayushman Arogya Mandir,” Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh wrote in the letter. “This decision might become a hindrance to health centres being universally accessible. We request you to take the matter, on behalf of the people of Leh District, to the Hon’ble Lt Governor for considering repealing the order, keeping in mind the religious/cultural sentiments of the residents of Ladakh.”

(Photographs used in this news report are not directly linked to the details in the write up but are merely representational).

(Except for the headline, this news story has not been edited by VoM News staff and is published from Kashmir life)

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Asif Iqbal is a seasoned news writer with a passion for delivering the latest updates to the public. Currently serving as the senior writer at VoM News, a prominent news outlet known for its comprehensive coverage of diverse topics, Asif has established himself as a reliable source of information. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, he consistently provides readers with well-crafted articles that cover a wide range of news categories. His dedication to journalistic integrity and his commitment to staying ahead of the news curve make him an invaluable asset to Vom News, ensuring that readers are always well-informed on the issues that matter most. You can find his work and stay updated on current events by visiting vomnews.in.

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