Medical Negligence Claims A Life At NIT Durgapur, Mass Protests Ensue

A final year engineering student died at the National Institute of Technology in Durgapur on the 19th of November due to lack of proper medical facilities on campus. Prosenjit Sarkar was a 22 year old student pursuing B. Tech in Electrical Engineering at NIT Durgapur. After two days of continuous headaches, finally culminating with him being unable to complete his semester paper last Wednesday on the 18th, Prosenjit decided to admit himself into the Medical Unit present on campus at NIT at 2PM. In spite of the college claiming to have a 24 hour medical service, the Doctor, Dr. B.K. Sarkar, did not appear at the unit for 3 hours. The nurse on duty treated him with some headache pills and a few bottles of saline, following which she dismissed him. It was only after repeated pleas from his friends that the Doctor was called who merely gave him an injection for his vomiting problems and asked him to return to his hostel at half past eight. Prosenjit returned to his hostel room, only to be found unconscious 15 minutes later by his friends, who immediately called the medical unit for an ambulance. It however did not arrive even 40 minutes after the call. He died on his way to the Medical Unit in a tempo. The doctor checked him and, being unable to realize that he was dead, casually mentioned that his low pulse rate was not a serious issue and referred him to the Mission Hospital located about 20 minutes away from the campus, where he was declared dead upon arrival by the doctors, who estimated his time of death to be around one and a half hours before. The doctor of the MU has commented that he could not understand the condition of the patient. Prosenjit Sarkar hailed from a humble background. He lived in the town of Madanpur, near Kalyani. His mother passed away when he was young and his father has to deal with the grief of his untimely demise with his two sisters. When the students along with the Chief Warden and the Dean (Student’s Welfare) approached the Director’s Bungalow to discuss about this issue on the night of 19th November, he (the director, Prof. Tarkeshwar Kumar) summarily refused to speak to the students. Eventually more than 150 riot policemen and RAF were called to disperse the crowd. A peaceful protest in the form of a candle march was organized by the students led by the Student’s Gymkhana Association on the 20th of November. The body of the deceased was brought on campus. It is shocking how an Institute of National Importance fails to provide its students with  proper and basic medical facilities, as has become evident through this unfortunate event. It is even more shocking to see that The Director, instead of taking necessary actions, is calling the cops while the students are peacefully mourning for the loss of their fellow student. For the past one year there have been more than 5 deaths on campus and every time the case is closed with the verdict of “Unnatural Death”. The Director is seldom present on campus to talk to students or guardians regarding any issue and is never present for his comment when any such issue arises. It is gradually becoming evident that people, who are clearly not capable of managing such delicate situations, are at the helm of power. Whenever a student makes a mistake, the college never pardons even the most minor ones. On the contrary, in such situations the college itself is turning out to be an epitome of irresponsibility.  We, the students of NIT Durgapur, have had enough and we need a change. The students have two demands which include betterment of the medical facilities on campus, so that such incidents are not repeated, and the resignation of The Director. This change not only benefits an individual, or a particular college, but the student fraternity as a whole. It is our earnest request to all fellow students to kindly share this issue on social media as much as possible, so that the concerned authorities are informed and also propelled to take necessary actions against those responsible.