GORAKHPUR: They are the poorest of the poor, their lives shattered with the deaths of their little children. The sheer callousness of the Baba Raghav Das government hospital in Gorakhpur is reflected in the refusal to pay the outstanding dues to a private firm for oxygen supplies, and the administrations refusal to take cognisance of the dipping oxygen supply available then to the patients.

But perhaps the worst sign of indifference came from UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath when he insisted that the 60 children undergoing treatment in the hospital had not died of lack of oxygen but other reasons to do with their specific illnesses. Now of course he has said after the uproar, that if this has indeed happened then it is despicable!

The grieving parents left the hospital carrying the dead bodies of their children as there was no state help for them, no vehicles, no ambulances with a curt, take your child away from the hospital that was keen to get rid of the evidence of its criminal negligence with of course the full cooperation of the state government.

The private firm had given ample notice to the 950 bed hospital in Adityanath’s own constituency that it would have to stop the supply of oxygen to the hospital, but the administration ignored at least seven such warnings. The government of course, continued on the Adityanath line that there were several reasons for the deaths but these were not linked to the hospitals failure to provide oxygen, a vital source of life and treatment in a hospital.

But while the authorities battle it out, it is almost certain that the parents will receive no compensation, not even a shoulder to lean on in this hour of crisis. Most of them had travelled long distances to seek treatment for their children, and instead left with their dead bodies without a word of remorse, or for that matter explanation, from the hospital. Leave, and they left too poor and too shattered to resist, carrying the bodies in their arms as the photographs below show: