- Gorakhpur tragedy shook the entire nation starting early August after numerous children suffering from brain inflammation died in absence of oxygen
- Over 290 children have died at BRD hospital, including 77 reported deaths from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome
- Khushi Chandra launched ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’ to offer assistance and provision of oxygen cylinders in case of emergencies
Gorakhpur, August 30, 2017: Child after child collapsed at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College in early August as the hospital ran out of oxygen supplies. Words fall short to mourn the deaths of over 60 children, among them several new born babies, or to slam the negligence of the hospital authorities in what has come to be known as the ‘Gorakhpur Tragedy’. As figures continue to soar even after a month, the tragedy has triggered gigantic uproar across the country. This prompted a teenager from Uttar Pradesh to launch a charity named ‘OXYGEN GORAKHPUR’.
The 15-year old face behind the not-for-profit organization ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’, Khushi Chandra believes the Gorakhpur tragedy could have been prevented.
“This is very personal for me as it happened right at my doorstep. No child can be denied the right to life, and in this case, the right to breathe,” she said as she pioneered her righteous cause.
The organization aims to provide a secure and continues the supply of oxygen to indigent patients and hospitals across Gorakhpur in an attempt to meet sufficient requirements of the hospitals.
The organization aims to function on three dominant parameters-
- Providing oxygen cylinders to hospitals during emergency
- Reaching out to the needy by providing timely assistance
- Build a strong oxygen-bank to provide round the clock support to hospitals
In the coming future, Oxygen Gorakhpur also aims to allocate oxygen provision vans for the transportation and delivery of oxygen cylinders to hospitals.
Horrific pictures of parents holding corpses of infants spanned across screens throughout mid-August with parents claiming they had died due to lack of oxygen in Gorakhpur’s Bada Raghav Das Medical(BRD) College after suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis, two diseases that are common in India, especially during the monsoons
The Gorakhpur tragedy has exposed the harsh reality of Uttar Pradesh’s flawed public healthcare system out in the open.
Through Oxygen Gorakhpur, Khushi intends to ensure that this does not happen again, and instill a sense of citizenship and responsibility towards the larger society, among the youth and adults alike while also ensuring improvement of conditions of hospitals and their amenities.
Additionally, the initiative will serve and protect the youth by exhibiting support, and encouragement while also empowering citizens to be the change-makers of today.
“As an accountable citizen of my city and the country, I feel responsible towards ensuring such tragedies do not happen again”, she said as per a report by ANI.
According to latest reports by PTI, over 290 children have died at the hospital from August 1 to August 28, including 77 reported deaths from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
Chandra also observed that the Indian government’s expenditure on public health services makes up for less than 1 per cent of the GDP, which is among the world’s lowest figures. However, she is hopeful as the Modi-led government has increased spending on health services, with an underlying aim to make healthcare more affordable and available.
Chandra feels help must immediately be provided to under-resourced hospitals and must be maintained in the long run.
“I seek support from other like-minded citizens to join hands to ensure that oxygen never runs out in our hospitals” are Khushi’s words on Oxygen Gorakhpur’s official website.
Citizens can extend their support to this noble initiative by buying an oxygen cylinder, contributing funds or spreading the word about the project.
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— Oxygen Gorakhpur (@OxygenGorakhpur) August 25, 2017