Shame at 70: We let the 60 children in Gorakhpur down

    The recent Gorakhpur tragedy raises several questions of the healthcare infrastructure in the country as well as the hospital administration under whose care 60 children lost their lives. However, what is even more tragic is the reaction of the people and the political leadership in this matter.

    In the day after the report of the deaths emerged, several opposition political parties rushed to Gorakhpur to “assess” the situation. The political leaders from these parties immediately sought the resignation of the UP Chief Minister, only giving a token acknowledgment of the tragedy. Seeking to politicize the issue in what is essentially a case of hospital negligence is questionable at the very least.

    These leaders are quick to hold the Chief Minister responsible, diverting attention from the real issue at hand and clouding the public perception on the matter. The police investigation in this situation must work quickly to find those responsible and criminal charges need to be filed against all responsible, including the hospital administration, to send a strong message that medical negligence will not be tolerated. Political parties must stop their blame game and allow the law to run its course.

    Even after 70 years of independence, if our healthcare system can allow the deaths of 60 children, it is truly a shame on the entire nation. The people must demand better medical facilities and quality hospital care in the wake of this tragedy rather than moving on and criticizing the government when the next tragedy takes place. The deaths of the 60 children should be a blip on the radar but should be treated as a national tragedy that should attract the attention of every citizen in India.