Thousands rally behind Dr KC

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Jul 24, 2016-

As the indefinite hunger strike of Dr Govinda KC entered its 14th day on Saturday, thousands of supporters hit the streets in Kathmandu to draw the government’s attention to his demands.

Around 10,000 protesters—people from all walks of life—marched from Maitighar Mandala up to New Baneshwor where a sit-in was staged.

People carried placards that read ‘#IamPagal’ (I am crazy)  ‘#IamwithDrKC’ , ‘Address demands of Dr KC immediately’ and ‘#Loktantra not #Lokmantantra’, among others. #IamPagal was targeted at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, which issued a statement questioning the mental state of Dr KC right after he announced his protest. The anti-corruption body had later retracted its statement following widespread criticism.

Although the outpouring of people was voluntary, a loose group called ‘Solidarity for Prof Govinda KC’ and other groups including Bibeksheel Nepali, a political party, had coordinated the event.

In New Baneshwor, Dr KC addressed the gathering through telephone where he reiterated that he would not break his fast until the government addressed his demands including the impeachment of CIAA Chief Commissioner Lok Man Singh Karki. “We are fighting for reforms in the medical education sector. Each person should have access to cheap and quality medical education and services,” said Dr KC.

Dr KC charged CIAA chief Karki with misusing his authority, which had squandered the progress made by his past protests. Participants said they supported Dr KC as his demands would shape the future course of medical sector in the country. 

Dr Biplab Sapkota of Trauma Centre, Bir Hospital, believes in the cause Dr KC is fighting for. “As a doctor, we realise each day our sector needs a massive overhaul. Since Dr KC has taken the lead, it’s our duty to support him,” he said.

Dr KC’s major demands include endorsement of the Health Professional Education Commission Bill with amendments to ensure free MBBS seats in government medical schools and establishing medical colleges in each province.

Also, the fasting doctor has demanded withdrawal of a bill that will establish Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences as an academy to run MBBS courses. The MIHS is run by CPN-UML supporters and its chief is Rajendra Pandey, a UML parliamentarian.

Doc might need intensive care

KATHMANDU: Doctors have said Dr Govinda KC, who has been fasting for the past two weeks, might need intensive care anytime soon.

“He has a sore throat. There are chances that it might cause fever,” said Dr Dibya Singh. “If this happens, there is no way but to shift him to intensive care unit.” He is said to be susceptible to severe infections as his immunity is “too low”.

Doctors also fear that a huge flow of well-wishers into his room might cause infections in the protesting doctor. More than 300 people visit Dr KC on the TUTH premises every day. A health bulletin released by the team of doctors reads that Dr KC continues to have headache, chest pain, body ache and muscle cramps. “His blood pressure remains on the lower side and few irregular heart rhythms have been noted intermittently,” reads the statement. (PR)

Published: 24-07-2016 11:12

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