Bhubaneswar, June 15, 2021: The wife of Odisha freedom fighter was deprived of adequate Covid-19 treatment.
Now, the National Human Rights Commission has sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) from the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary of Odisha over a petition that claimed denial and deprivation of basic human rights to Meera Devi, the ailing 87-year old and a widow of a freedom fighter from Bhadrak district of Odisha.
Wife of Odisha freedom fighter denied treatment
Meera Devi is the wife of Odisha freedom fighter late Gour Chandra Mohapatra. He was a renowned freedom fighter from the Bhadrak district of Odisha. She hails from a family where most of her family members were tortured during the British rule. Allegedly, she has been denied her freedom fighters pension by the Union Home Ministry for more than two years.
She has also been deprived of adequate and free medical care by the Naveen Patnaik government.
Even when she was suffering from COVID-19, she was left unattended and now she is being treated in the ICU of the AMRI Hospital in Bhubaneswar.
The National Human Rights Commission on Monday sought an ATR from the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary of Odisha over a petition that claimed denial and deprivation of basic human rights to Meera Devi.
The order was passed by NHRC on Monday, following separate petitions filed by Supreme Court lawyer and acclaimed human rights activist, Radhakanta Tripathy. The NHRC demanded the reports from both the government authorities within the time frame of four weeks.
Petition filed after wife of Odisha freedom fighter deprived of medical care
Radhakanta Tripathy, who is a lawyer at the Supreme Court and a renowned human rights activist, had filed a petition mentioning how the wife of Odisha freedom fighter has been deprived of medical care. “Extremely pained and deeply shocked by the deliberate negligence and inaction by the State administration of Odisha and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. I am constrained to bring up the plight of Meera Devi, aged about 87, who has been battling for survival with health complications and financial difficulties. Such a shameless situation continues despite the issue being known to the State and Central administration.
If this is the situation of a woman, whose father-in-law has authored the State Anthem Bande-Utkal-Janani and whose husband remained in jail for freedom of India, then it can well be imagined what would be the situation for other freedom fighters’ families. The failure of the State in ensuring functional ECMO machines results in frequent deaths and shifting of super-rich patients and top bureaucrats to other States for treatment causing thereby loss of exchequer, poor health care and migration of super rich patients during the pandemic. The victim will die without justice in case the State ensures her free but appropriate medical care and early disbursal of her pension with arrears for her expenditure. The pitiful, shameful and shocking condition of the victim continues as of now. What could be a worse human rights violation than this?” he mentioned.
In the past, the Human Rights activist had filed a petition against the lack of livelihood provisions to the 600 villages situated on the borderline of China in Arunachal Pradesh.
He mentioned that the villages were deprived of basic amenities like Anganwadi centres, weather roads, potable drinking water, playgrounds, schools, health care centres, and avenues for physical activities and recreation of the villagers.
Following Tripathy’s petition, the National Human Rights Council directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh as well as the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Government of India (GOI) to ensure the basic human rights of 600 villagers residing at India-China border of Arunachal Pradesh.