Gorakhpur Baby, don’t cry, nobody listens!
What does one do when 100 babies die in Gorakhpur? What does one do when the people and the government maintain a stoic silence? Is such a society humane? No rage! No anger! WSN editor writes a letter posthumously to one of the babies expressing deep anguish, anger, helplessness and empathy with the poor parents
Dear Baby Gorakhpur:
You cried and you died. Your sisters and brothers cried and died. Nobody listened. They don’t listen. Actually, you should not have been born in a poor woman’s womb who has to go to a government hospital for delivery and care. You should come to this world through an enforced compulsory C-section delivery in a speciality hospital where your mother can get good treatment and care. In government hospitals of India, particularly northern India, nobody listens.
Actually, nobody told you that it is a bane to be born in a poor family in this country. They don’t care. Certainly, they don’t care in Gorakhpur. They have not cared for the last twenty years since your Chief Minister, who in his earlier avatar of Member Parliament has been fielding questions about the state of the Baba Raghav Das Hospital, Gorakhpur hospital and the spread of Japanese Encephalitis in that region. Twenty years. So many questions and hardly any answers. It did not move the parliamentarians -the ruling party then or now. Nobody listens.
“Dear Baby, I wish you could understand that they could not supply oxygen to you or clean the hospital because they were too busy building cow-sheds, cleaning the Ganga, admonishing wayward love-smitten youth, spreading hate and preparing for the 2019 general elections.”
Someone needs to delve into the Parliamentary records and see as to out of the 300 crores that MP Yogi Adityanath was entitled to disburse as part of the MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) scheme, how much, if anything went to the said hospital about which he kept asking questions from the then opposition government in the state of UP? Was he listening then too?
I wish you could understand that they could not supply oxygen to you or clean the hospital because they were too busy building cow-sheds, cleaning the Ganga, admonishing wayward love-smitten youth, spreading hate and preparing for the 2019 general elections. You have died and another 100 babies have died. Prior to your passing away, according to newspaper reports close to 3000 babies have died in the last two decades in Gorakhpur alone. Some more may be dying. Nobody listens.
We are a heartless people and we read about you and others like you as staple news. Just news. Read it, watched it on TV and also listened to the many disgusting channel anchors who thought that patriotism and Vande Mataram was more important than your life. We did manage to get a few hashtags but still, nobody listens.
Your death has not benumbed us. It has not bestirred us. We may not expect anything from the leaders of the country, what about the people? Where are they? What are they doing? What are they thinking? The Indian conscience is dead notwithstanding soul-stirring writings of The Indian Express or the video coverage of Mirror Now, CNN IBN 18 and NDTV. They wrote, we read, there are no vigils for you, no weeping and remorse. Nobody listens.
The dead conscience may be probably be awakened only when such a dastardly criminal lapse happens nearer home in Delhi and that too if the victims happen to be from the privileged class and not for the poorest of the poor. As for the poor of this country, wherever they are, in the backwaters of Gorakhpur or Kathiramangalam, nobody listens.
The Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi, too busy with foreign affairs and 70 years of independence, when it was your turn to be the subject of his twitter handle, he took a sabbatical from his omnipresence on twitter and other social media. He listens only what he wants to, not what the people of this country want to tell him. He too only speaks, does not listen.
The BJP Chief Minister of your state, Yogi Adityanath -ostensibly a man of religion, a savant, managed to spend a few sanitised and well-protected minutes in the BRD hospital in Gorakhpur, promised an enquiry to look into the ramifications of the tragedy and that’s it. The dirt, the filth, the inadequacy of doctors, para-medical staff, medicine, machines, material and lack of cleanliness in the hospital continues. Nobody listens.
The ever changing daily statements of the state and central health ministers were not only unhealthy but sickening, to say the least. The BJP national chief belittled your worth by saying, “such incidents happen in big countries.” Insane? Inhuman? Believe me, they only know how to rattle. Nobody listens.
“The BJP Chief Minister of your state, Yogi Adityanath -ostensibly a man of religion, a savant, managed to spend a few sanitised and well-protected minutes in the BRD hospital in Gorakhpur, promised an enquiry to look into the ramifications of the tragedy and that’s it. The dirt, the filth, the inadequacy of doctors, para-medical staff, medicine, machines, material and lack of cleanliness in the continues. Nobody listens”
Men of religion -the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, the Shankaracharya, the Dalai Lama, the Imam of Delhi -why are all silent? Where is the National Commission for Women -the Children’s commission -the civil society -the conscience keepers, if some are left, where are they? Are they listening?
For the last few days since I have read about you and those like you who vanished from the surface of the earth without a heart-rending cry, I feel ashamed of myself and the society that I live in. I can only empathise with your parents who may want to seek justice as right to life is a fundamental right. But frankly, nobody listens!
I know we cannot get you back. Can we have PILs seeking exemplary compensation of Rs. 5 crores for every baby killed? Will someone listen? Oh, my dear Baby Gorakhpur, till someone listens, Rest In Peace.
Yours in pain and anguish