Non-Oriya Health Secretary Sabotages the Minister: CM Ought to Know, His Party is spreading AIDS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When on July 7, in presence of Panchayati Raj and Law Minister Mr. Arun Kumar Sahoo and Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Employment, Technical Education and Training Minister Mr. Sanjay Kumar Das Burma, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Information and Public Relations Mr. Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak told me on his own accord, in his Secretariat chamber, that, the issue I had raised has been ordered to be implemented immediately, I was very happy and was sure, Orissa shall be saved from a great disaster.

But I had no idea that his Secretary – a non-Oriya IAS officer – would sabotage him and continue infecting people of Orissa with AIDS through unsafe blood supplied by Red Cross Blood Banks without proper screening.

I had stumbled upon a case of AIDS caused to a 3 year old boy in 2012.

He was a victim of blood transfusion on operation table.

The blood he was given was infected with HIV.

He was a native of a village of Baramba adjoining my birthplace Tigiria. His father had given me the details of how the misfortune engulfed him and had requested me to take such steps that no child should be such a victim of medial mismanagement. His sobs and tears are still alive in my heart.

I investigated into it and found that in 2011 the Orissa High Court, on awarding a cash punishment to the State to the tune of Rs.3 lakhs, had directed that the Orissa Government must immediately adopt NAT method of blood screening as the prevailing method of ELISA was not competent enough to detect HIV in its “window Period”. The Government was sleeping over it.

I exposed the malady repeatedly with updated input. It attracted attention of Sri Prasad Harichandan, then the Opposition Chief Whip, who moved an adjournment motion on the topic. On September 1, 2012, the then health Minister Dr. Damodar Raut answered the motion with an emphatic YES to the NAT method and announced to adopt the method in all Blood Banks “in phased manner”, which would start with four major Blood Banks serving the 3 Government Medical Colleges and the Capital Hospital.

He could not see his announcement implemented because the health secretary and a few mandarins were interested in continuance of the ELISA method.

I continued to expose the apathy of administration in this particular matter, as a big population of transfusion dependent patients were sure to be affected by the dreaded virus. Taking the cue, almost all newspapers of Orissa used their spaces time and again in this mission; but the mandarins did not buzz.

After election 2014, the portfolio of Health came to the hands of the young dynamic Minister Atanu Sabyasach Nayak.

I raised the issue before him, cries of the unfortunate man of Baramba still vibrating in my heart.

He took two days to study the matter and sent the following “Note” (No.23, Dt.19.9.2014) to the Secretary:

“This is regarding implementation of NAT screening method for blood in four centres catering to 6 major blood banks of the State.

The Hon’ble High Court in 2011 on one PIL case filed before it had passed an order for earliest implementation of NAT. The then Hon’ble Minister, Health and F.W., Odisha had assured on the floor of the House for implementation of NAT in phased manner while answering an adjournment motion in the subject on 01,09,2012. A Technical Committee constituted by the Government had visited two States i.e. Karnatak and Uttarpradesh and inspected various centres where NAT was implemented and had given their report.

I am told, the SBTC was directed to go ahead for implementation of the project. The major procedure involving Financial and Technical formalities are also over. The Technical Expert Committee has also given its views on the Request of Proposal received.

It is a matter of concern, why the important decision to implement the direction of Hon’ble High Court has not been operationalized till date.

A detail report in this regard is to be called for at the earliest. A meeting in this regard may also be convened at your level as early as possible to expedite the process.

One year has passed away since then. Implementation is hanging under many pretenses.

This is a classic instance of how incompetent or ill-motivated mandarins in the Secretariat have been playing tricks upon the political Government.

It is an instance of how a non-Oriya IAS officer has continuously kept the Minister in dark, while pushing at least two Oriyas into AIDS everyday by forcing unsafe blood upon them.

Yesterday, the Chief Minister addressed a workshop of his party in matter of Jivan Sindhu, a project of BJD to make the party appear concerned for the people. It transpired from his speech that since commencement of this project six months ago, its collection of blood has reached 37,232 units.

Medico-scientific surveys have established, and the High Level Technical Committee held under the chairmanship of the Health Secretary on 17.10.2014 had held that, “NAT yield (ELISA Negative & NAT positives) is around 500: 1” which means, NAT method detects one case in every 500 units as HIV positive and ELISA detects none.

All the blood units in Orissa are being screened in ELISA method. This prompts us to suspect that out of the 37,232 units of blood collected and supplied by BJD during this six months under the banner of Jivan Sindhu under guidance of the Chief Minister, AIDS causing viruses have been pumped into at least 76 unsuspecting patients.

This is a very serious situation.

Jivan Sindhu is a political program of the ruling party aimed at appearing pro-people as it is increasingly being viewed as a server of avaricious industries at the cost of indigenous population. The CM wants that, before the next election, its blood collection should exceed 5 lakh units.Vote bank politics can go to any extent.

If NAT is not immediately implemented, the said 5 lakh units would be forcing at least 1,000 Oriyas into AIDS by way of blood transfusion.

Health Minister Atanu babu should immediately wake up as the concerned Minister and foil the foul game of the non-Oriya IAS officer, who, as Commissioner-cum-Secretary has been presiding over the horrific delay in implementation of the already approved program, is playing; or if he is unable to administer his Secretary, the attention of this Chief Minister should immediately be drawn into this malicious conduct of the mandarins.

Human life is more precious than the lady IAS officer, whose negligence and incompetency is pushing unsuspecting Oriya patients into the pernicious grip of HIV.

Any further delay must not be allowed.

Assembly Closes the Session sans Concern for Victims of Misrule

The Assembly begins on a day to close its business also on a day. So beginning and ending of a session is normal.

But it cannot be said to be normal when there is lack of concern for victims of maladministration that chose the street in front of an Assembly seeking action against misrule of a Government it controls.

Our staff photographer Laxmiprasad Pattanayak has captured a few of the congregations of the victims of maladministration that were there in expectation of their protest attracting the attention of the Orissa Assembly that closed its current chapter of the session on budget without any concern for the people symbolically represented by the demonstrators on the street when, on the other hand, the State police was eager to exceed the scorching Sun in harshness to dry up their voice.

Let them be looked at while brooding over whither are we going.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The brave peoples of Orissa have defeated the pernicious flood.

In my personal album, I have always kept this picture. It shows how a mother was carrying her son to safety braving the devastative flood in Balasore district in 2006. UNICEF had circulated this picture and as a reminder of how daring could be a caring mother I have preserved it and perused it umpteen times. It is an imperishable evidence of how a brave woman of Orissa had defeated the deluge in 2006 in her fight for safety of her child.

The 2008 scenario reaffirms the braveness of our peoples.

The picture in the right side shows how a small boy is trying to ferry his ailing mother away into a safe place when the picture in the left
is of a couple that wades through the severe spread of water putting the two children on a bicycle in search of shelter.

Gushing water forces into houses. No food to eat, no water to drink. No shadow of a semblance of state help.

In a hope against hope, under unbearable thirst, a boy of 5 dares the muddy deluge and harps on the handle of a tube-well if that helps him survive.

Home is ruined.

But man tries to provide shelter to his pets.

Flood surges into streets, inundates homes. Its fury engulfs the croplands, shatters the roads. Man tries to overcome the danger.

Flood engulfs the horizon. But brave peoples of Orissa do not collapse.
They propel their boats ahead.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Residents of government quarters in both the sides of Mahatma Gandhi Marg spanning between the Assembly junction and the Railway station roundabout in Bhubaneswar are deeply disturbed due to use of amplifiers by demonstrators who gather in the boulevard in hundreds and in thousands every now and then to voice their protests against unrelenting misrule.

The residents have been demanding for a ban on demonstrations and / or protest gatherings on MGM or in the boulevards in deference to their right to peace and tranquility. And conscious as they are of the adverse impact of noise pollution that the demonstrations generate, they are absolutely justified in raising this demand.

Public demonstrations and protest rallies are not the only events that bang the boulevards here; but also this is the place where state level ceremonial parades take place to the crippling of free movement of the residents as and when required by the authorities. So, the residents are really disadvantaged.

The Government quarters flanking MGM are of highest types and occupants thereof are high placed official functionaries except a marginal few from media.

No wonder the government has decided to oblige them by promulgating a permanent ban
on demonstrations and protest rallies as per demand of the concerned residents.

The Home Secretary is eager to locate an alternative place where demonstrations may be allowed.

Reportedly a high level team is pressed on the job. Nothing could be more laughable and ludicrous.

Were the boulevards flanking MGM ever earmarked as the places for the aggrieved public to offer their demonstrations that now the government is planning to change?

What sort of a government is in power now? Why it is so confused?

Are the demonstrators rushing to Bhubaneswar streets daring scorching sun or showering clouds or chilling cold waves for a dating with administration so that they should be expected to offer their proposal decently in a designated place?

Peoples are thronging MGM boulevards to voice their protests against lack of probity in administration, against loss of direction in administration, against injustices they are subjected to under administration, in a nutshell, against misadministration.

They are coming to break law on records on the roads of the capital city in order to show the government that they have no more any respect for the laws of the land as the same do not help the peoples but act as umbrellas to protect the exploiters and the enemies of the peoples.

One is to see to believe how enthusiastically peoples are breaking laws and jumping into police vans after administration arrests them; no qualms, no remorse, no repentance. This happens when peoples perform patriotic duties oblivious of repressive measures the government may take.

The Country is theirs and that is collapsing under continuous misrule by commission agents in possession of posts of power. Therefore the protest rallies, therefore the demonstrations.

Is the government expecting that the peoples who gather to register their protests through civil disobedience would obey official orders to demonstrate their protests in a place directed by the government at a far away distance from the State Secretariat?

If the government feels it would happen then here is a government that seriously lacks in sense of proportion.

Peoples will never honor any order that would restrict their rights to voice their protests against misrule.

Therefore, instead of making a farce of its own order, it would be better for the administrators as well as for democracy to dismantle the Indira Gandhi Park and to restore it to its previous position of a democracy points.

When Capital of Orissa shifted to Bhubaneswar, the ground where Indiara Gandhi Park now stands was earmarked as the democracy point. It was reserved for democratic activities. The State Level ceremonial parades on occasion of the Independence Day and the Republic Day were taking place on this ground. When eminent leaders were addressing the peoples they were doing that on this ground. Prime Ministers beginning from Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi had addressed the peoples on this ground only. Similarly Leaders of Opposition beginning from the legendary communist leader A.K.Gopalan, who was the first recognized Leader of Opposition in India to the present leader of Opposition L.K.Advani had addressed the peoples on this ground. Leaders neither in power nor in the opposition benches of Parliament but in hearts of every Indian like Rajaji had addressed the peoples from podiums on this ground. This was the ground where aggrieved peoples of Orissa were voicing their concern and demonstrating their protests against bad governance and this was the ground from where peoples of Orissa were receiving informed signals to change administration in their State.

J.B.Patnaik, under whose rule in nineteen eighties, this ground had been umpteen times used by the peoples of Orissa as their lunching pad to send salvoes of protest against corruption and misadministration, had wanted obliteration of this excellent point of vigilant participation of the general public in democracy. The opportunity came to his hand when Indira was assassinated on going back from Orissa after delivering her last speech on this ground. His coterie proceeded immediately to destroy this ground of immortal memories and to extinguish every possibility of its future use by the vigilant public against misrule. In the name of creating crescent lake, profuse money was spent to remove soil from where now the water pool of BDA Nicco Park stands and to dump that soil on this ground to build up Park landscape. Money was looted both the ways; but the loss was nothing for the government to bother. Indiara Gandhi Park emerged on the deathbed of democracy on this ground.

Now when the government is planning to obstruct people from expressing their vigilant reaction on misadministration by putting a ban on use of the MGM by demonstrators, it would be better for officials to note that the government that had then declared to have ceremonial parades in the Kalinga Stadium or in a ground to be named Janata Maidan following conversion of this ground to the Indira Gandhi Park is not keeping to its decision and on the contrary, it is causing the parades on MGM as hinted to above.

So, it is time, the mischief behind creation of Indira Gandhi Park be reassessed and steps be taken to demolish it in order to restore this ground as the democracy ground where peoples as before would address and be addressed in matter of vigilant participation in democracy. It would be rather a befitting tribute to Indira who had delivered her last public address here.

The Forest Park is quite near to this spot and is enough to accommodate the visitors of Indira Gandhi Park.

Unless it is done, any attempt to deny peoples the right to voice their protests against misrule or to air their warnings to their government on basis of vigilant participation in democracy would be futile and lead to confrontation which would be dangerous to democracy.

So, demolish the Indiara Gandhi Park with Indira’s statue kept in tact to witness democratic participation of general public in keeping on leash an errant administration.