Thursday, August 13, 2015

Resolve ongoing agitation in Kalahandi by establishing Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences in Kalahandi (instead of Sardar Raja Medical College)

Aug 11, 2015

The Honorable Health & Family Welfare Minister Sri Nadda

Honorable Prime Minister Sri Modi
Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha Sri Patnaik

Dear Honorable Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Nadda,
Students, intellectuals, leaders from all political parties including BJP, BJD, Congress, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, CPI etc. and general public in Kalahandi (Odisha) have been protesting to convert Sardar Raja Medical College in Jaring to a Govt. institution. The state Government of Odisha has maintained splendid silence on the issue despite 13 days of continuous public agitation, which is still continuing.

It should be noted that Selvam Educational Trust had signed a MoU with Odisha state Govt. in 2004 to establish a medical college in Kalahandi, for which state Govt. of Odisha had provided 10 crores of rupees during 2004-07 and 25 acres of free land to the said trust. As per the MoU, the said trust should have established the medical college within five years time period after signing MoU. But it took almost a decade when Medical Council of India (MCI) approved Sardar Raja Medical College established by Selvam Educational Trust to take 100 students in 2013-14. Subsequently, in 2014-15 MCI rejected the same  Sardar Raja Medical College based on poor infrastructure. Nevertheless, Supreme Court ruling for private medical college came as a relief and the said college took another about 30 students in the year 2014-15. Now all these 130 students are nowhere in their medical education and their dream to be a doctor is shattering day by day due to poor infrastructure, lack of faculty and administrative hurdles created by MCI and Sambalpur University.

The local people have been warning Odisha state Govt. about Selvam Educational Trust as the said trust was not capable to invest adequate amount to improve the infrastructure in the Sardar Raja Medical College in past 11 years, it has also minimum expertise in establishing medical college. All most all the physical infrastructure building of Sardar Raja Medical College has come from the 10 crore rupees given by Western Odisha Development Council (of Govt. of Odisha) and free land given to the trust by state Govt. Since from the beginning the trust had not taken the project seriously, people of Kalahandi have been appealing to the state and central Govt. to establish a Govt. medical college (instead of WODC initiated private medical college) that would benefit poor and tribal population locally.

KBK region is one of the most backward and tribal dominated pockets in India. The health scenario, especially secondary and tertiary health facilities, is extremely poor. Kalahandi is a central district and Bhawanipatna is a central town in the KBK region. A central Govt. medical institution at Bhawanipatna will give additional advantages in terms of secondary and tertiary health need for the poor people in an affordable way, who are now forced to depend outside the state. Such institution will also meet human resource requirement in the health department in the local level, and poor and lower middle class students in the region can access medical education unlike in the private medical college.
Since Odisha Govt. has failed to take appropriate steps and has brazened out the genuine need of public demand in last five years, public in Kalahandi are losing fastly faith. Recently your ministry and central Govt. of India is planning to establish 60 new Govt. medical colleges across India but at the same time it is failing to nourish a failing institution like Sardar Raja Medical college in backward location like Kalahandi.
The situation in Kalahandi is deteriorating day by day. Therefore, I request you to intervene immediately and establish a Post Graduate Medical College and Research Center or KBK Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences in Bhawanipatna, which would be in the line of North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences and resolve the ongoing strike in Kalahandi.
Thank you and best regards

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