Sri Yogi Adityanath

Honourable Chief Minsiter, Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow, UP

Respected Sri Yogi Adityanath ji,

The entire country has been horrified at the recent deaths of nearly 70 children in Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College and Hospital.

In our analysis (see: 08/27/let-us-not-forget-the-ch ildren-of-gorakhpur-while-cele brating-7-decades-of-independe nce/ ), this is the net result of decades of grossly inadequate investment in the public health sector and services; including highly inadequate human resource and budgets, as well as in allied systems for water, sanitation, food security and women and child development. This drastic situation, compounded by misgovernance, mismanagement and corruption has been a powder keg just waiting to ignite year after year, with the resultant loss of innocent lives.

We are further appalled, that far from being appreciated, the one person who appears to have actually done his duty by his patients and even went beyond the call of duty to organize oxygen cylinders; Dr Kafeel Khan (head of the encephalitis ward and an assistant professor), has been victimized and made the scapegoat for this enormous administrative failure.

Taking hasty and superficial action against frontline workers has been the routine practice of governments across the country whenever the current policies of systematic disinvestment in public resources erupts in a highly visible tragedy.

We urge the UP government to reflect upon the criminally negligent systemic underpinnings of the Gorakhpur tragedy rather than vilify a doctor who has been upheld by the people who were present on those fateful days as possibly the only hero attempting to assist the poor families of dying patients in whatever manner he could. We demand that he be reinstated with respect and that an independent, time bound, enquiry be set up to detail the events leading upto these deaths so that appropriate and urgent action be taken against those truly responsible. The enquiry committe should be headed by a retired Supreme Court Justice and should have eminent figures from the field of public health and pediatrics.

(on behalf of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan)


Sri Rajiv Kumar

Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh