July 5, 2018 06:00 AM NPT
By: DB BUDHA
JUMLA, July 5: With more and more people showing their support and solidarity, the 15th fast-unto-death staged by senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC has created quite a stir on its fifth day.Dr KC has been staging his protest in the covered hall of District Sports Committee Jumla since Saturday, demanding reforms in medical education in the country. He has also demanded that the Karnali Institute of Health and Sciences (KIHS) Teaching Hospital in Jumla initiate MBBS classes as soon as possible.Locals of Jumla have taken to the streets demanding that Dr KC's life be saved. Expressing concern over the deteriorating health of the crusading doctor, protesters have urged the government to address his demands without delay.
Civil Society Jumla has been staging various kinds of protests in support of Dr KC since Saturday. They staged a semi-naked procession on Tuesday from the covered hall to the district administration office (DAO). Even parliamentarians and other representatives of the people have taken to the street in support of Dr KC.
On Wednesday, supporters staged a protest march starting from the covered hall to the district police office and onwards to the Balmandir, where it concluded.
Former parliamentarian Lalit Jung Shahi, who was one of the participants in the procession, said Dr KC's demands are just. He urged the locals to support him and make his 15th fast-unto-death a success. In choosing Jumla as the place for staging his hunger strike, Dr KC has won the hearts of the locals.
The protesters have threatened to intensify their protests if Dr KC's health is neglected. "We don't raise our voices that often but if we do we can bring the government to its knees," said Shahi.
Protest hits patients
Ram Lal Rokaya of Patarasi Rural Municipality-4, Lum reached KIHS for the treatment of his wife. Unfortunately, he could get no treatment for her as the doctors and health workers had halted their services except for emergency. He was obliged to take recourse to a private medical and pay a high amount. "We reached there after walking for a day but we could not meet any doctors there," laments Rokaya.
Services have been affected at almost all medical care facilities in Mugu, Kalikot, Dolpa, Humla and Jajarkot.Prabin Kumar Giri, vice-chairperson of Nepal Medical Association Jumla chapter, stated that they won't resume their services until the government assures the safety of Dr KC's health.Caption: A protest staged by health workers in Khalanga, district headquarters of Jumla.