What do we want: Pink tokens for free rides or green token for free and available health and medical facility?

Health Care Comments Off

On Friday i.e. 07.06.2019 in Hindustan Times newspaper it was published that “DMRC may issue pink tokens for free rides”. Women wanting to avail free Metro rides, a scheme announced by the Delhi Government, may be able to do so only by taking pink tokens from Metro stations, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said Thursday…

A metro official, on a condition of anonymity, said the scheme does not mean female passengers can just walk into a Metro train without a card or token. “Those who want to avail of this will be asked their destination and the ticketing staff will top up the token with the requisite amount. The Delhi Government is likely to pay the cost incurred by this scheme beforehand to DMRC, the official said…”

On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that women will be allowed to travel without charge on buses and metro trains in NCR.

It is quite shocking that Delhi Government in the name of right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India is providing free rides to females, but Delhi Government has forgotten the preamble of the Constitution of India, which strives to provide for welfare state with socialistic patterns of society under the Article 21 of the Constitution, guarantees the right to life & personal liberty. The concept of democratic socialism aims to improve the condition of health care of the people.

Part IV of the Indian Constitution which is Directive principles of State Policy imposed duty on states. Articles 38 of the Constitution impose liability on state that state secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people but without public health we can’t achieve it.

Article 39(e) related with workers to protect their health. Article 41 imposed duty on state to public assistance basically for those who are sick & disable. Article 42 says that it is a primary responsibility of the state to protect the health of infant & mother by maternity benefit. Article 47 spells out the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition & the standard of living of its people as primary responsibility.

On 05.02.2018, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) a registered charitable trust had filed an application under the Right to Information Act with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) asking about various questions relating to the medical facility at the metro stations and inside the metros.

Vide reply dated 09.03.2018 DMRC stated that there is no dispensary available in any metro station, not even in intersecting metro stations. Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine is not being installed neither in any metro station nor in any metro train. However, some of the DMRC employees have been trained in First Aid including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

DMRC has tied up with CATS Ambulance for the purpose of emergencies, however, DMRC does not have information as to in how many minutes the ambulance would reach the metro station.

A pharmacy / chemist shop is available only in some metro stations. However, the DMRC does not have the information relating to the availability of First Aid medicines for Sudden Cardiac Arrest at the metro stations and inside the metros and also information relating to the availability of the doctors at the metro stations.

DMRC does not have the information relating to the number of people died in the last 5 years at the metro stations.

The question wise answers received by HCFI from DMRC are reproduced hereunder:

Sr. No. RTI Questions Reply by DMRC
1. Whether there is a dispensary available / functioning in all metro stations? If so, what are the timings of such dispensary? No, there is no dispensary in metro stations
2. Whether there is any dispensary available / functioning in the major intersecting metro stations? If yes, what are the timings of such dispensary? No, there is no dispensary in metro stations
3. Are all the staff / employees / security personnel of Delhi Metro trained in Cardiac First Aid including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)?

(CPR: if a person stops breathing effectively, CPR is a lifesaving technique used to restore oxygenated blood flow to the vital organs?

No, not all but many DMRC employees have had undergone First Aid training including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
4. Is there any “Automated External Defibrillator” (AED) being installed at the metro stations? If yes, how many? At present, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) are not being installed at Metro Stations / Metro Trains.
5. Is there any “Automated External Defibrillator” (AED) being installed inside the metros? If yes, how many? At present, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) are not being installed at Metro Stations / Metro Trains.
6. Are First Aid medicines for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) available at the metro stations?

Requested information on “Are first Aid medicines for sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) available at Metro station’ is not available in any material form and hence cannot be provided in terms of section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005.
7. Are First Aid medicines for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) available inside the metro? Requested information on “Are first Aid medicines for sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) available at Metro station’ is not available in any material form and hence cannot be provided in terms of section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005.
8. Is there any tie-up of the metro stations with ambulance services for the purposes of emergencies and if so, in how many minutes such ambulance can reach the metro station?

Yes, DMRC has tie up with CATS ambulance for the purpose of emergencies. Further, requested information is not available in any material form and hence cannot be provided in terms of section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005.
9. Whether there is a doctor available in the working hours of Delhi Metro at the metro stations?

Requested information on ‘whether there is a doctor available in the working hours at Delhi Metro at the Metro Stations’ is not available in any material form and hence cannot be provided in terms of section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005
10. Is there any pharmacy / chemist shop available at the metro stations? Yes, there is pharmacy/chemist shop available at some of the metro station.
11. How many people have died in the last 5 years at the metro station?

Cases of attempted suicides are subjected to investigation by concerned police authorities and the death of an individual in the metro premises is subjected to confirmation by concerned authorities. As such cases of suicides attempts & deaths since 2013 are not available with DMRC in any material form with DMRC Ltd.
12. How many people have died in the last 5 years at the metro station?

Cases of attempted suicides are subjected to investigation by concerned police authorities and the death of an individual in the metro premises is subjected to confirmation by concerned authorities. As such cases of suicides attempts & deaths since 2013 are not available with DMRC in any material form with DMRC Ltd.

Instead of providing proper medical facility, Delhi Government is giving free rides only to females.

Providing proper medical facility and taking care of health of a person is the paramount duty of the state. In Delhi, public transports like buses, Delhi metro, etc. are used by not only females but also by the elderly, minors, pregnant women, physically disabled person, patients, who need a medical facility.

Further, travelling by public transport itself is a stressful act. Hundreds of people push each other while entering and exiting the train or bus. Many a times, people fall down, even get hurt/injured while travelling, but there is no immediate medical facility for them. Many a times, Delhi metro gets stuck causing respiratory problems, blood pressure problems to the public. None of the buses, Delhi metro have first aid box, which is the basic need.

The need of the hour is not free travel but free and available medical facility.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA