STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Malda, 31 January
Social activist Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, who quit as the chairman of a central government task-force in December 2012, is now bent on providing decent health-care facilities to residents of the Bhootni islets in Manikchak block here.
Congress leaders, however, consider Mrs Chaudhury’s move a ‘political gimmick,’ as they think she is actually trying to ‘catch the show’ before contesting as a Trinamul Congress candidate from Malda north constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
It may be mentioned that Mrs Chaudhury went on a fast-unto-death on 26 January this year, claiming that a large number of the islet residents were deprived of proper medical facilities. She demanded that those people should be given proper health services immediately. “There is no DOTS, no diarrhoea management, no labour room, no basic diagnostics and no supply of essential medicines in the health centre, while the existing PHC is nearly closed with no staff,” she said.
“Only a doctor and a pharmacist are posted there, who are absolutely erring and flout the rules in total disregard of human needs and the government system,” she added.
“The health system is absolutely missing in this area. Lakhs of people live here in utter distress. There is a PHC, which has only two staff. The others are not posted for years,” she said.
Mrs Chaudhury today met the Malda DM, Mr Sharad Dwivedi, and served him a memorandum, demanding that these problems be addressed immediately. “She came to discuss some health service-related problems at Bhootni in Manikchak. I have asked the district health department to look into the issues,” Mr Dwivedi said.
District Congress president Mausam Noor, however, said Mrs Chaudhury has suddenly become active just because the elections are in the air. “If she is set to join politics, she should do so without wearing any veil. It would be better for us to answer her questions on a political forum.”