Children’s Death In Gorakhpur Remind That Something Is At Fault In The System


At least 30 children have died in Gorakhpur BRD medical College. The family members of the dead infants have accused that due to deficiency of the Oxygen in the hospital deaths were caused. Whereas administration has denied it. The stand of administration is that all died due to serious diseases and deficiency of Oxygen was not the cause though investigating committees have been established by the government to know the real cause.

The major issue is the administrative quality of the hospital where no proactive steps are taken, which is usual practice. Administration in hospital is callous and insensitive to the needs of the patients as government hospitals are not accountable to anyone even the political powers do not have any holdover them.

Not only the accountability but also the nexus between the political leadership and the administration is well established in the country. The government hospitals have emerged as centre of corruption and administrative failures. As the media reports suggest the family members of the dead children have accused- that contractor supplying the Oxygen was not paid in time. Perhaps there may be involvement of corruption at the administrative level which finds succor from the political support in the country. Only the investigation will show the real things which have been constituted.

Governance is often talked and the present dispensation in the state has made it as a vital plank for the welfare of the state. This is a cherished goal for all the governments but realities lie somewhere else. No good governance is possible unless the political-administrative relationship stands on the right platform. In developed countries to deal with such problems several new concepts have evolved; among these the Public Choice Theory is major development which wants to restrict the overpowering powers of the administration and wants to make it a service delivery operator. Countries like India where civil services have come to occupy major position in the social world, this change of attitude is highly desirable among the administrators who believe in the theory of megalomania.

Political leadership fails to contain this development as a consequence the objective of good governance fails. The sad deaths in BRD Medical College impress that there is urgent need to modify the administrative structures and also the political leadership be more focused on the realities of the governance not on the mere rhetoric, which has been a major tool of controlling the minds of the people. The demagogues in the political world establish that their utterings are the only solution and they are the only right speakers. Unfortunately the mainstream media does not bring the realities hidden underneath and disseminate the rhetoric to any extent. Moreover the electronic channels have become highly inclined to reap the benefits of being close to power holders. Thus truth of any event is obscured and falsehood prevails.

This is true for this sad development too where realities may be dusted under the carpets as the administration has denied the deficiency of the Oxygen cylinders in the hospital. Though relatives of the dead children are firm on their understanding. This is serious question of the loss of accountability which needs to be plugged by the government.

One serious question emerging from the deaths of children relate to the impact on the poor and middle class people. It is in common knowledge that government hospital and schools are accessed by those who are not too much well off. The lackness of the monetary and other resources force them to visit the government institutions. Everyone is aware that most of these in pathetic conditions with prevalence of the corruption at every strata of administrative hierarchy. NRHM corruption case in UP is still alive where political leadership established a nexus with the administrative system to defeat the objective of the Mission. Still the cases against the accused are being pleaded but no final result has been obtained. The poverty stricken people are mainly affected by such cases. The deaths in Gorakhpur also suggest that the vulnerable section of the society is at a big loss. This has been caused due to acceptance of neoliberal policies in the educational and health sector which has allowed proliferation of the private health and the educational institutions which charge huge fees and the treatment charges in the hospitals and poor people do not have capacity to pay for the costly services. Simultaneously there is serious decline of the government institutions in these social service sectors affecting the poor most. India proclaims itself as a socialist country with emphasis on the social justice but these developments make mockery of the claims as social justice is not only bring the bottom most social dispossessed people at equal terms with the upper strata holding people but it also ensures that poor people should get the high quality services where governments have failed continuously. Governments of different hues and colours have exhibited the same working pattern making things worse for this segment of the people.

Is there any escape from such painful condition? There is always a light of hope- if in real way the politicians, administrators decide to work for the welfare of the people. They are not involved just in rhetoric and attractive slogans and influencing the masses by their populism. Administration is made accountable and transparent. Nexus of every sort is broken and in real spirit the social justice is ensured by all power holders then only India has a hope otherwise who will die and depart and in which condition is unfathomed. Really these innocent children had no fault that they should die. Their only fault was that they were born in a society where political talks are higher than the highest mountain summit and discharged works are as minion as the humming bird. Really it is a sad day for humanity and human civilization.

Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava is Vice Chairman, CSSP, Kanpur; e [email protected]

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