The citizen activists of the city had a meeting on Sunday, whereby they started recording the experiences of families and individuals who witnessed their loved ones succumb to Covid-19.
The campaign, termed as “Count every death” is an initiative to remember the people who lost their lives with Covid-19 and those people whose lives were lost due to sheer negligence of the government. During the event, citizens and activists from several parts of Karnataka addressed the issue.
Activist and artiste D Saraswati iterated they would record all the people who lost their lives because of shortage of oxygen, hospital admissions, medicine or food. She said, “We are here to establish our bonds by remembering all those as ours. We are here to thank doctors, Asha workers, crematorium workers, pourakarmikas and volunteers.”
Amid the event, several activists raised the question about the lack of preparedness of the government to overcome the pandemic crisis. Saraswati stated, “We will gather every Sunday and try to ensure these are not just numbers but living and breathing people.”
The event was inaugurated by Narayanamma, a pourakarmika via lightning a candle. She revealed the story of her friend and colleague, Susheelamma, who died in the hospital with breathing difficulties. Narayanamma said, “We don’t know whether she got oxygen. Maybe she would have lived had she got it. The government has announced a Rs 30 lakh compensation to her family. We demand that a member of her family be given a job by the government.”
Shouri Raj, heading an association of crematorium workers in Bengaluru, revealed they were working continuously from 6 am to nightfall everyday and will follow the same. He said, “I have seen so much pain that it made me cry. The words of people who bring the bodies still weigh on my mind… I don’t wish such pain even to my enemies.”
Poet Sharifa K raised the question with a poem about the need to continue construction of buildings worth Rs 20,000 crore when people are unable to pay for oxygen and beds.
Shivalinge Gowda, an activist, Chamarajanagar accused the beaurocracy for the death of 24 people citing lack of oxygen. He said, “In reality, 36 people died in the Chamarajanagar hospital,” pointing out the deputy commissioners who failed to cater to oxygen supply. He added, “The MP from Mysuru gave one statement after tragedy and another today.”
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