The death count of children due to encephalitis and other diseases in Gorakhpur zone (Uttar Pradesh) is on the rise. There were 308 deaths in just one month (August) in the Gorakhpur Baba Raghavdas Memorial Hospital alone. There is no record of the children who died in Primary health Centres, District Hospitals, villages, and without medical treatment. Such a situation can only be called an epidemic and nothing else. Despite demands by AIPWA and other organizations to declare this an epidemic, the Centre and State governments have not done so till date and have not tried to tackle this situation on a war footing.

Therefore, keeping in view the people’s feelings, AIPWA organized a dharna on 1 September 2017 and demanded that encephalitis be declared an epidemic A memorandum was sent to the Prime Minister through the Gorakhpur Collector with the following demands:

    1. Encephalitis should be declared an epidemic in Gorakhpur zone and measures to counter it taken on a war footing; pure drinking water, pucca toilets, fogging and spraying for prevention of water and mosquito-borne diseases should be guaranteed.

    2. Appointment of qualified and capable doctors in adequate numbers in Gorakhpur Medical College, appointment of medical professors in the college, availability of test-equipment, medicines, and arrears of payment and honorarium to nurses and health workers should be guaranteed.

    3. Flood should be declared a national disaster.

    4. All compensation for flood victims and waiver from payments should be guaranteed.

The dharna was led by comrades Manorama and Kalavati.