Updated: July 5, 2021 12:46:00 am
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking that the Bharat Ratna be given to the “Indian doctor” this year. This, he said, would include doctors, nurses, and paramedics.
“The country wants this year’s Bharat Ratna to be awarded to the ‘Indian doctor’. By this, I don’t mean a particular person. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics in the country should get this honour,” Kejriwal wrote to the PM on Sunday.
Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award. It was last conferred on former President Pranab Mukherjee, Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh, and singer Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika in 2019.
In his letter, Kejriwal wrote, “Several doctors and nurses lost their lives fighting Covid. If we confer them the Bharat Ratna, it will be a true tribute to them. Lakhs of doctors have selflessly served people without worrying about their lives, or their families. There is no better way to honour and thank them.”
According to the Indian Medical Association, as many as 730 doctors have succumbed to Covid-19 during the second wave. Bihar saw the maximum number of 115 deaths, followed by Delhi at 109, and Uttar Pradesh at 79. Their vaccination status is not yet known.
Kejriwal urged the PM to change the rules if they do not permit the honour to be conferred on a group: “If rules do not allow Bharat Ratna to be conferred on a group, I request you to change the rules. The whole country is beholden to its doctors. Every Indian will be happy if they are conferred the Bharat Ratna.”
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