New Delhi: CNN-IBN on Friday reported 500 children have died of encephalitis in eastern UP in the last two months. The political blame game has now begun. Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, in the middle of grappling with the Telangana crisis, put the blame squarely on the Mayawati government.
Azad told CNN-IBN that Rs 2500 crore have been sanctioned under the National Rural Mission this year for UP out of which Rs 5 crore is specifically for encephalitis. He added that the state needs to play a more active role in containing the killer virus.
UP Congress Chief Rita Bhaguna Joshi raised the decibel level further.
Joshi said, "Nothing seems to move this government - children dying, women being raped. The Central government releases funds but the state government has to use them
Not to be out done in an election year, the BJP jumped also joined the debate.
As the blame game and finger pointing intensifies, the UP Chief minister is keeping quiet about the crisis. The health department said they have released Rs 18 crore for a 100-bed ward at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur and are doing whatever else they can.
Also galvanising into action is the National Center for Protection of Child Rights and the Women and Child Development ministry.
NCPCR Chairperson Shanta Sinha said, "Letters will be sent to all concerned authorities so that this is stopped immediately and to see that rapid action is taken up on a war footing. They have to give a immediate plan of action."
Almost 500 children dying of encephalitis in the last 2 months is a national health emergency. It's time both the state and the central governments start treating it like one.