Rs. 200 is less than what a burger at KFC costs. Rs. 200 is one-side fare from my home to office. Rs. 200 is so insignificant, it can’t possibly buy me a decent kurta!
But this Rs.200 took an entirely different meaning in Jalandhar where an infant lost his life just because her parents could not pay the hospital authorities Rs.200.
In a shocking turn of events in Jalandhar, a five day old infant lost her life when the Civil Hospital authorities removed her from the incubator because her parents could not pay Rs.200 to the hospital as electricity charges for the incubator.
The baby, whose father works as a painter, was born premature and died soon after she was removed from the incubator. The hospital authorities in their defence said that there was very little chance of survival for the premature baby and refused to take responsibility for her death.
This is not a a consumer issue. It the issue of degrading, depraving humanity in our midst. The hospital’s act has redefined apathy.
This case will probably never see the light of a consumer court. No hefty compensation will be awarded. The poor parents will cry bitter tears and move on with their lives. the media will create some hue and cry and then fall silent till some other baby dies in some other hospital.
Just makes me think, despite the whole hue and cry we create around consumers, there is a section of population in this country who don’t have the right to be ‘consumers’–it is the privilege of the middle class. These invisible consumers are conveniently hidden from sight for everybody-the brands, the authorities, the rest of the visible mass of consumers.
But who is at fault? To be counted as consumers, one should be counted as human-a legitimate, significant part of the society-a right and a status that people like this couple in Jalandhar have long lost in the wilderness of the affluent, civilized India!
Infant’s Life Worth Rs.200 In Jalandhar (Firstpost)