Slowdown in economy is acceptable but not a death of single child

Heart thumping rhetoric by the government in guaranteeing the improvement in the standard of living is far from belief. The prospects of the GDP growth rate is at a lower end of expectation, the markets are saturated, and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is declining. External factors can be blamed for all these developments. But, what about the disturbing death of 70 children at the Gorakhpur hospital. The inquiry report submitted by the District Magistrate blamed the Oxygen cylinder supplier and two doctors for the cause of death. However, the interim report submitted by the Magistrate stated that the deaths are due to uncontrolled events. It also shamelessly said that the deaths in 2017 are comparatively less than the previous year. And that there is some improvement in facilities provided.

According to a PwC report, India is set to reach the world’s third largest economy by 2030. The basic assumption in concluding this outcome is the strength of Indian youth. But, if we lose potential scientists, entrepreneurs and potential politicians at this pace, will we be able to achieve our aspirations? Just because the Oxygen cylinders are not provided by the supplier on time, we cannot afford to lose a life. The reasons like these are not acceptable from a place which acts as a referral Hospital to all the nearby villages. We are already losing two children per every hour. The Under-five mortality rate in India is 43 i.e., the probability that a child born in a specified year will die within 5 years of age is 43 per 1000 live births. A shocking figure to hear even after the celebration of 71st Independence Day

Article 45 of the Indian Constitution directs the government to strive for the childhood care. But, only 2.5% of India’s GDP is allocated to the health sector. It is grossly negligible. To put things in perspective, Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has diverted 13% of the funds to loan waiver schemes which are supposed to be allocated for Development. UP is the hub of communalism and it has developed the latest fad of protecting cows while their children are unable to walk out of hospitals in which they were born. The newly formed government should focus on strengthening the relationship of Mother and her child rather than separating people in ‘relationship.’ Only when the state resolves to focus on critical issues, the country will be prosperity.

India also has the credit of not achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to Child mortality rate. Here, the mortality rate is one of the highest in the world. We couldn’t reduce the mortality rate by two thirds by 2015 from 1990 levels. May be our beloved politicians neglected those little children as they do not possess voting rights. We need to take lessons from countries like Nigeria which was able to substantially control its Infant Mortality Rate through effective immunization. Here, we are unable to avoid Japanese Encephalitis, which is another cause of death in Gorakhpur. With one hand, we are bargaining for UN Permanent membership and with the other hand, we are killing our own children without supplying Oxygen cylinders. What an irony!!

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