You were angry at the death of children in Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College Hospital. You might be even more angry at reading these old headlines. So, why would you want to read a fresh headline?
Aug 11, 2017
30 Children Die During Last 48 Hours After Gorakhpur Hospital Runs Out Of Oxygen
Aug 13, 2017
62 children dead since August 7 in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital
Aug 13, 2017
Gorakhpur children deaths: No child died due to oxygen shortage, says Yogi Adityanath government
Aug 29, 2017
Gorakhpur infant deaths: 7 more children die at BRD hospital in last 48 hours
Aug 30, 2017
Gorakhpur tragedy: 48 children dead in 48 hours at BRD Medical
Aug 30, 2017
Gorakhpur Tragedy: 61 Child Deaths In 72 Hours, 'Number May Go Up'
AT SOME POINT, you stopped reading the headlines. They seemed all alike. At some point, it became so boring. Journalists had already done similar news stories. People in newsrooms had already given headlines full of pathos. Engaged readers had already written angry letters to the editor. Editors had already penned editorials bashing the regime, and offering solemn advice about paying more attention to the health sector, particularly mentioning the weak and the marginalised poor.
At some point, every story becomes a little like a discussion on poverty. Yes, it's very bad, we need to fight poverty, entire society should take up the challenge, it is the nation's fight, our biggest enemy is poverty, and we should count the poor once again - Arjun Sen Gupta, Tendulkar, Kelkar....Till we get bored.
They still remain poor. And children still keep dying in that Gorakhpur hospital.
Brave reporters in Uttar Pradesh's regional media continued with their incessant focus on the issue, and occasionally a headline or two would make its way into a national newspaper.
Indian media had milked the story, used up all the visuals, hosted rage-filled discussions on whether oxygen supply was stopped or not. But the boring headline stayed original every single day. The infants dying in the BRD Hospital were keeping the headline fresh. By dying every day.
Indian news television had milked the story, used up all the visuals, hosted rage-filled discussions on whether oxygen supply was stopped or not.
Meanwhile, the boring headline stayed original every single day. The infants dying in the BRD Hospital were keeping the headline fresh. By dying every day.
They died every day. On a good day, 12 children would die. On certain others, up to 20 would die.
Here's the latest, dated October 12, 2017:
69 children died in the same BRD Hospital in 4 days; 19 in the last 24 hours
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government is busy painting the towns saffron, from school bags to booklets to furniture; the media is busy discussing comparisons between the Gorakhnath temple and Taj Mahal; and a CM was donning the role of a Mahant for a few days.
Last time, the nation was jolted, they had arrested the college's principal, blamed doctors and other staff, even clerks, accused the pharmacist of negligence, and taken action against oxygen suppliers.
Also, deaths were explained. These were not the fault of the government. The government did not kill children. They died due to premature delivery, under weight, jaundice, pneumonia, infectious diseases, encephalitis, septicemia, asphyxia, etc. Not government.
One explanation said a large number of newborns in critical condition are coming to the hospital from far-off places. No one asked why were extremely sick children coming from far off places?
But what is it that has not been said about Gorakhpur's dying children? You have already heard the debates, read the editorials, watched the politicians blaming each other, and the parents asking where to bury the pain.
It's just numbers now - much like poverty.
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