The Optometry Students Association at AIIMS has launched a relay hunger strike over a freshman who succumbed to Covid and swine flu, claiming he had been “denied an ambulance” by authorities, leading to his death. Abhishek Malviya, the freshman optometry student, died on August 13. That same day, members of the association went on strike, claiming that Malviya had not been given an ambulance because he was not a resident of a hostel.
They also claimed that the AIIMS authorities did not provide hostel accommodation to allied health students. Malviya, who had breathing problems, was not given an ambulance because he did not live on the hostel’s campus. Because of this, it took him two to three hours to reach the AIIMS emergency department, where his condition was declared critical and later placed on ECMO after his lung function collapsed. He was pronounced dead on Aug. 13, the Optometry Students Association claimed in a statement.
“If there had been a hostel, he would have survived,” it added. The AIIMS administration said there is a gradual increase in the number of students in AIIMS, New Delhi, and there is a serious shortage of hostels for all students. Students of paramedical bachelor’s programs no longer receive hostels at AIIMS since 2020. This is stated in the prospectus for these courses and all students are fully aware of this provision at the time of application for admission. This is also the case for many other institutions and other AIIMS.
“This has often been communicated to the students at previous meetings and their comments have also been forwarded to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Extension of hostels for all students is foreseen in the AIIMS master plan,” the hospital said in a statement.
According to the report, students were invited to send their representatives to speak with the principal, but they declined. After that, the dean, the deputy dean and the deputy superintendent of the hostel met with the excited students to understand their grievances. The principal also met with the students and assured them that their grievances would be investigated.
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