Protesters Kneel, Sleep On Road Demanding Medical College In Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur

Jagatsinghpur: In a unique show of protest, residents of Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur kneeled and slept on the road on Saturday alleging government’s apathy towards their demand for a medical college in the district.

Residents protesting under the banner of Swasthya Surakshya Sangathan began the Guhariya Jatra (appeal journey). They went from Thana Chhaka to District Collector’s office kneeling and sleeping on the road and making an appeal to the government to set up a medical college in the district.

Locals also objected to the government’s decision to shift the polyclinic from Jagatsinghpur to Cuttack.

“The population of Jagatsinghpur is more than 14 lakh now. As per government mandate, there should be a government medical college for a population of 10-12 lakh. There are no minerals in the district. People are dependent only on agriculture and have very low incomes. The District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) refers critical patients to Cuttack. It is a financial burden on the already deprived people of the district,” told an agitating local to media.

The protesters also allege that even after 31 years of formation of district, the DHH does not have adequate healthcare facilities. There is also a shortage of doctors. But people’s appeal for a medical college is not being paid heed to by the government.

“It’s been 10 months since we started protesting and every resident of the district, irrespective of the party and ideology, wants it. But the government is not respecting people’s needs. Today, we are kneeling and sleeping like we do when we go to a temple appealing to God to listen to our urge with the hope that the government would listen,” said another protestor.

It may be mentioned that Jagtsinghpur was a part of combined Cuttack district till 1993.


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