Most of the Central Government employees work in the low ranking Group 'C' positions. They serve in Central Government's Defence, railways and  Health Departments. They are often required to work in night shifts. Even officials work in night shifts but their numbers are very less.

The production targets fixed by the ministries can never be reached without night shifts. To such an extent, night shifts have become essential these days.

Night shift is calculated from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am of the next day.

For every hour of night shift, 10 minutes of the salary of day duty is gained. Therefore, if one works for a six hours night shift, he will get 6x10=60 minutes, that is an hour of extra salary.

The 7th Pay Commission has not recommended any changes to NDA. If it had added at least 5 minutes extra for every hour of night shift, all the employees would have been greatly delighted.

Only when the 7th CPC is implemented the stand of the employees regarding NDA will be known.

 It has recommended that the night shift calculation that was used in the Railways have to be changed and suggested a same method of calculation to be used in all the Central Government departments; it had also said that allowance should be given based on the employees' level

Irrespective of the allowances paid, the loss that the night shift employees incur can never be compensated. The employees lose their good night's sleep and sacrifice themselves to their service.

Night sleep is essential for proper functioning of all parts of the body including the brain. Those who do not sleep at night cannot work properly during the day.

The chances of such employees getting affected by heart diseases increase. There are chances for their body's immunity to come down.

Mostly, such people will suffer from indigestion,constipation and stomach ulcer . Medical research tell us that employees who work in alternating day and night shifts are more susceptible to diabetes than those who work only in day shifts.

 Melatonin hormone secrete only during the night(Dark surrounding) The time between sunrise and sunset is meant for working.

This practice which has been followed for thousands of years has come down to us through our ancestors as a work culture.

 Even the opening of buds during the day represents a similar act. Nightshift is discovered by humans as a by-product of industrial revolution. It works against nature to increase production.

Night is meant for rest and sleep. When we change this, our bodies struggle to keep up. Many diseases result are produced in the body due to the non-secretion of Melatonin.

If the Night Duty Allowance had been slightly increased for employees who work night shifts that are fraught with such difficulties, it would have been a welcome change.

If the Central Government and the federations focus on NDA issue and try to increase it in the recommendations which are going to be implemented from 1/1/16, all the night duty employees will be very grateful.

The unions which raised their voices demanding changes in the pay commission's recommendations should also request to being in suitable changes in NDA.

NDA is not like working and being paid. Night shift is sacrificing good health and receiving the pay. We do not mean to say that everything will be okay if allowance is increased. NDA is just a solatium. There is both the need and urgency to increase it for the sake of employees.

S Vishal

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