Honour doctor who died serving Bihar flood victims: Parents

January 31st, 2009 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS  

Patna, Jan 31 (IANS) Months after their son lost his life while serving Bihar’s flood victims, parents of a 25-year-old doctor said they are unhappy with the state government as it is yet to confer an award on him.Father Umakant Rajaram Patil and mother Lata Umakant Patil of Mumbai-based doctor Chandrakant said they are proud that their son sacrificed his life for a noble cause.

The family is now on a visit here to pay tributes to Chandrakant, who was struck by lightning Sep 21 last year. He was in a relief camp for flood victims in Kataiya block of Supaul district, about 250 km from here.

“We do not want money or any compensation from the Bihar government. What we want is that Bihar should honour his sacrifice by announcing the state’s highest civil award to him,” Umakant told IANS.

“My son sacrificed his life while doing selfless service in Bihar but the government has failed to honour and recognise him till date,” Lata said.

“God snatched our only son, but he died like a martyr as he was busy working for people in pain and suffering,” she added, fighting back tears.

Soon after his death, Bihar State Health Services Association Coordinator Ajay Kumar in his eulogy said that Chandrakant deserved the highest honour as he sacrificed his life while doing noble work in the state.

“Though no amount of money could bring back (Chandrakant) Patil, I would ask the state government to provide Rs.5 million to his family members in Maharashtra,” Kumar had said then.

Umakant and Lata along with their daughter Monika went to the relief camp to pay their tributes to Chandrakant. A mass prayer was also held in the Kataiya block.

“We visited the exact place where my son died while working for the flood victims. We are proud of him,” Umakant said.

The family was heartened by the response of local villagers, who were crying as they recalled the selfless service of Chandrakant.

Umakant said: “His loss is a loss to society. I plan to erect a tower in memory of my son at the place of his death if I manage to collect funds. It all depends on funds, we are poor people.”

Chandrakant graduated from Pune’s B.J. Medical College and was pursuing MD (a residency in preventive and social medicine) at KEM Hospital, Mumbai.

He was a native of Dhule in Maharashtra and came to Bihar on Sep 18 as part of a 40-member team of doctors who volunteered to serve in the flood-hit districts of Bihar.

More than three million people were rendered homeless in Bihar when the Kosi river breached its bank upstream in Nepal and changed course Aug 18 last year.

The homeless were then forced to live along the roads under the open sky without food, clothes and drinking water or in the relief camps set up by the state government.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

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