Friday, November 14, 2014

Chhattisgarh incident-if it is not an eyeopener then we are already a dead society..

Unfortunate tragedy which unfolded in Chhattisgarh has shocked me deeply. It's not the case that I don't know how these government camps are conducted and what is the situation of sanitation in government run clinics but I was still shocked by this incident (I know that there are exceptions to this but I am talking about over all picture). At least 13 women lost their lives and many more are in critical condition after getting sterilization operation performed in one of the government run camps. This is not first time any such mishap happened in government run camps but I think loss of lives on such large scale never happened before. Public health care system is in very very bad shape in India, lot of corruption, lack of accountability plagues this system so much that it is almost dysfunctional. Population control program is part of health ministry of central government as well as state government. Every state sets some targets which it needs to complete to get required funding which is allocated for that specific purpose and pressure to fulfill those targets can result in such horrible incidents where people loose their lives. Lack of transparency, poor follow up and inquiry of such incidents which allows most culprits to roam free has failed to put any check towards happening of such unwanted incidents. Along with people who actually conduct these camps (doctors, medical officers, etc.) government machinery and health ministers are equally responsible for these mishaps. Unless all directly and indirectly concerned people are held accountable and punished appropriately I don't think these type of instances will stop, we all know that system is so broken that they are not going to stop on their own.

This is a cruel joke on people and their lives (specially poor and uneducated) when they are dragged to these camps with lure of money or some holiday from their work and doctors casually play with their health. Any medical procedure like surgery specially something like sterilization operation should not be performed with 'informed' consent. Here word 'informed' is more important than consent, it is very easy to get consent of these uneducated poor people who many times sign any form just in exchange of few bucks or just because some 'educated' person is telling them to do so. They think that if some doctor or some respected politician or educated person from their village is telling them to do this thing then in must be in their interest. We can call it a consent but it is not a informed consent which is must for any medical procedure like this. So government or any agency can not hide behind the technical rules that we sis our job according to rule books and it is peoples fault that they go to such camps and die.

Lack of transparency and accountability at every level (political as well as administrative) is a major reason why such incidents keep on happening. This is the same state where 100 or so people lost their eye sight after cataract operation in government camps, there is no news about what happened to those culprits involved in that incident. Many times these incidents create hoax in media,  hit the headlines for few days, there are attempts to politicize these issues to score some political points but slowly some other issue takes its place and people forget about it, in the end nothing substantial happens which can put end to these tragic events. Politicizing any event like this is a disgusting thing but there needs to be a political accountability for such incidents. After all politicians are important part of administration which plans and executes such events. They are the people who get the credit of any successful implementation of government programs or schemes so they should also get the blame and punishment for such serious failures. Normally poor and uneducated people are the victims of such events. These are the people who are not active on Facebook, twitter or whats app, they are not going to flood the social media with their protest but they are equally important citizens of India and they need same treatment which is offered to any citizen from any metro city.

Unless they establish proper mechanism at every level which makes sure that SOP (standard operating procedures) are followed wherever people's health issues are in question we will keep on witnessing such events. Just a resignation or arrest of one doctor or officer is not a solution for this serious problem, we need systematic and administrative reforms if we want to put an end to such incidents. If this incident is not an eyeopener for people of India and politicians of India then I am afraid that we are like a dead society who doesn't care about lives of particular section of their society. I hope this incident is the last such incident and every step and care will be taken in future to avoid such tragedy.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]



  1. sadly so true that humans are least valued in this over populated country of ours...

    1. Actually it seems like that but any loss of human life like this is extremely sad. I hope that our political and social class becomes more sensitive towards such incident and take every necessary step to put brakes on such incidents. I also hope that it happens sooner than later.

  2. All men are equal before the law. But sometimes I wish it was not so. These politicians and government officials hold much more responsible posts and owe a lot to the society. They have a hold over millions. With such great influence over the layman they should be treated differently by law as far as punishment for their misdeeds is concerned. A politician or any other influential person violating the law should get much more severe punishment than an ordinary man committing the same crime. This will at least make sure that some measure of fair treatment and justice is done.

    dr. suhas deai

    1. I agree with you Dr. Suhas that people occupying higher and more responsible post have greater responsibility and should be considered accountable if anything wrong happens. But I dont agree that they should be treated with different set of rules in front of the law. We are still struggling to apply same set of laws to them, they often can misuse the loopholes present in the system and escape or delay he delivery of justice by using same loopholes, if we can stop that then this itself will be a great achievement. Current situation where we see many tainted people getting elected in parliament and becoming law makers is definitely worrisome. How can we expect law breakers (people with serious criminal charges) to have any respect for law? This culture then breeds generation of leaders and politicians who think that they are above law, thy think they can have their own standards of morality and justify their any action. If we can just get rid of these elements from public life then I think at least there might be some accountability, right now accountability and transparency is missing at every level which results in such incidents.