Modern Indian politics is based on a concept to mould any apolitical issue into a political one, failing to consider how delicate that issue could be. The recent case of Dengue epidemic in Delhi highlights the same discrepancies in our system which tends to make a mockery out of sensitive issues. The ruling and other political parties are busy playing the blame game while the death count due to dengue continues to break yesteryear’s records.
Dengue in Delhi
As per the latest available data, around 27,668 cases of dengue have been registered across the country, with 6486 being from Delhi. The death toll this year has paced to 25 this year, the highest since 2010. Shortage of beds in government hospitals and extortionate fee demands by private healthcare bodies have further worsened the condition of patients belonging from lower economic strata. The pathetic condition of government hospitals can be judged from the fact that AIIMS has been challaned 9 times and 17 notices has been issued to check the breeding of mosquitoes but no action has been taken yet.
What is the government doing?
The early warnings of a possible bad outbreak of dengue epidemic had been made way back in the month of March by the officials of the National Vector Born Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) but it all went into deaf ears. The government reacted only when the problem had found its footholds in the city and it was no less than a mockery on the augural predictions made by NVBDCP.
The failure of the Mohalla Clinic programme which was launched amidst much fanfare has hit the rock bottom before taking a flight. The idea behind Mohalla Clinics was to reduce the rush at government hospitals, with Kejriwal himself promising that it will be able to treat 95% of the people who will approach it. But unhygienic conditions and inaccurate medical tests conducted by the clinics have further debunked their credibility.
Being the capital city of the country, the upsurge of dengue in Delhi has always been given centralized coverage by media. The recent political tussle between Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has become bonhomie of media fraternity. LG stirred a fresh controversy between him and Kejriwal when he commanded government employees to not to comply by the directions issued by the state government. An official of Kejriwal’s office stated, “He can issue orders which are grossly motivated by political considerations but haven’t called the Chief Minister or the Health Minister even once to help figure out a way to prevail over the dengue crisis.”
Moreover, Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the government on a PIL filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken has further deepened the problems of AAP government. He criticized the present Delhi Government and BJP led MCD’s for not acting vigilantly on this issue. Criticism in politics is acceptable but the motive behind such statements and actions has never been more than political blame game.
It is time our political leaders stop playing petty politics and show some collective efforts in order to tackle the menace of dengue. Also the government needs to stop brainstorming over the political gains and loss to introduce laws dealing in environment and public health sector.[Image attribute- WikiImages]