The death of 60 children at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur has been allegedly due to disruptions of oxygen supply in the pediatrics ward. All the evidences are showing that discontinuation of the oxygen supply was the real cause, although, in a typical display of denial, district and hospital administration rejected this. The reason they cited has been ‘other reasons’ rather than specifying what it is.
The question remains who is the real culprit? All fingers that government is pointing and trying the common people to point at is the oxygen suppliers. Without doubt, they have done a grisly crime. But who are they? They are no one but the profit mongering businessmen and there are plenty of them not only in India, but across the world. They are not expected to be the moral of virtues. They have not won the local election and people have not brought them to do humanity and justice for them. Now, the question arises, why did they do it? The answer is simple; they were not paid by the UP government for their supplies. Doesn’t Yogi Government know that these supplies were meant for critical care departments of a government hospital? Don’t they know the consequence to the poor patients and their families who have admitted their patients in the hospital if the supplies are discontinued?
To make matter worse, UP CM Yogi has been the MP from Gorakhpur since 1998. He has full awareness that encephalitis patients from the poor and lower middle class households clamor in the hospital with this disease. As it often happens in the state run hospitals, the rate of fatality is on the higher side. This is ‘chalta hai….’ for the authorities, the reason for which probably, the state authorities never bother to clear the payments of the oxygen cylinder suppliers. The deaths of the common men in India have no value, not even in the electorate fortunes of the ruling parties. Even the Union Carbide tragedy in Bhopal could cut much ice on the incumbent government. It will be in the news for a few days at most, after which, the heaps of new sets of news will cause the disappearance of the news from the memories of the people. In United States, the Watergate Scandal that took place in 1970s in still fresh in the memories of its people. In India, by contrast, there have been thousands of such scandals that people cannot even count, and yet, it disturbs no one. The consequence of such short memories is the lackadaisical attitude of our state machinery resulting in incidences like Gorakhpur.
The Independence Day is coming and the media attention will shift to that and this tragedy will be buried below the heaps of news that come afresh. Life will go on and the people will delete this incidence from their memory. The only one who will hold is the bereaved family members of the ones who died for no fault of theirs.