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No ambulance for them,villagers carried their dead on motorcycles

Villagers,who lost their children,have complained about lack of concern for them at hospital.

Satendra Mishra is among four villagers who each carried a child’s body on his motorcycle from Masrakh town to Gandaman. Mishra,who runs a store in the town and lost his nephews Prahlad and Rahul from the village,is livid that the district administration did not provide even an ambulance.

“Four of us carried a child’s body on motorcycles and people say there is a government in Bihar,” says Mishra. “If there is one,why has no official reached the village yet?”

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Across Gandaman,villagers who lost their children complained about a lack of concern for them at the hospital or at home,besides questioning the way the midday meal had been served at their children’s school.

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Vinod,who lost two nieces and a nephew,alleges that the Masrakh government hospital authorities took four hours to refer them to Chhapra Hospital. “We lost precious time at the Masrakh hospital. No ambulance was available to take the children to the other hospital,nor was any doctor attending to the children properly,” says Vinod.

His sister Buchchi Devi says,“I was a mother of four until yesterday. I have lost three of them to the sarkari meal.” She describes the midday meal as “poisoned”.

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Her husband,also called Vinod,is in Ludhiana where he works as a labourer. Her brother says,“My sister was so happy when a government primary school opened here. We are very poor people and cannot afford to send our children to a private school. Who would have thought our children would get poisoned food at the government school?”

Ramvichar Roy alleges the Masrakh hospital was initially reluctant to admit their children. “It was only after calls from the Patna and Chhapra administration that some children were admitted. Doctors were not referring children to Chhapra Hospital either.”

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Bali Mahto’s son was not even covered in a shroud when it was sent home,villagers say as they try to console the father.

Gandaman has over 650 scheduled caste,OBC and EBC families. Village elders have been criticising the administration while angry youths have been daring government officials and politicians to come to the village to “shed crocodile tears”.

Jaluli panchayat sarpanch Ajay Singh finds it very callous of the government that no official has reached the village yet. About the midday meals,he cites a provision that a teacher should taste the midday meal first. The practice was never followed in this school,he alleges.

First published on: 18-07-2013 at 12:49:55 am
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