Mumbai: BJP's medical camp leaves people in trauma
The Maha Arogya Shibir or Maha Medical Camp, organised by the North Mumbai BJP at a Malwani ground, and touted by the party to be the biggest free general medical camp in the history of Mumbai, turned out to be a damp squib
The one-day camp shut two hours early, leaving thousands stranded
The Maha Arogya Shibir or Maha Medical Camp, organised by the North Mumbai BJP at a Malwani ground, and touted by the party to be the biggest free general medical camp in the history of Mumbai, turned out to be a damp squib. North Mumbai BJP president Vinod Shelar, who hosted the camp yesterday, had claimed it was dedicated to improving the health of the poor living in the (north Mumbai) region. According to sources, the BJP had claimed that more than 2 lakh patients would be checked by 2,000 experienced doctors and paramedical staff, and medicines worth more than R2 crore would be distributed. But the ground reality was different.
Only pain, no gain
The poor from local areas who had crowded the venue since morning to get the benefit, were seen waiting for hours in queues for medicines, only to return empty-handed, disappointed and angry. Many started shouting, abusing the organisers, and the party.
Before the situation worsened, the police were called, and they closed the main gate to the camp, so more people could not enter. The timing was given as 8 am to 4 pm, but it was shut at around 2 pm.
Disputes and heated arguments were also seen between the party members, who were seen leaving, after the chief minister inaugurated the camp and left around 11:30 am. It was also observed that there was no ambulance at the camp, and despite the potential of a large gathering, there were no fire extinguishers or other precautions in place to prevent the untoward.
Physically handicapped Nurul Hassan, a senior citizen, who had arrived early in the morning for a check up, stood for half an hour in a queue for medicines and later fell down. No volunteer came to help him and finally he returned empty-handed. It was the same for another senior citizen, Suresh Dond. There was no separate arrangement or queue for women, said another senior citizen, Sunanda Mohite. Raju Vishvakarma, who had pain in his knees, was asked by a doctor to take a medicine from the counter where he waited three hours in the queue, but was told no medicine was mentioned on the paper given to him.
A police report said around 50,000 to 60,000 people attended the camp, of which around 6,000 were patients. However, the organiser claimed 1.8 lakh patients were registered. Dr Dharmendra Kumar, chairman of RK Research Centre, with which the BJP organised the camp, said it had created history. He also claimed that no patient went back without medicines which were left, and also that 1.8 lakh patients had registered. This contradicted the claims of Shelar, who said about a lakh people came, and the organisers had to close early as they ran out of medicines.
Number of doctors and paramedical staff slated to run the camp
Rs 2 cr
Value of medicines to be distributed at the camp