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Veteran journalist Kanchan Gupta loses his father to Covid, family gave up ventilator so others could live

While remembering his father, Kanchan heartily thanked the ambulance driver who carefully shifted his father to the hospital. He thanked all the doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers who tried their best to save him and eased his pain during his last hours.

On May 4, Kanchan Gupta, Veteran Journalist and former advisor to Atal Bihari Vajpayee narrated the saddening tale of his father battling Covid-19. While informing about the demise of his father, Gupta narrated how his father was a frontrunner in installing oxygen units in hospitals during his whole working life.

Gupta said that his father spent his working life setting up oxygen units at hospitals. In the 1960s, his work drew the attention of Tatas as well. He subsequently moved to set up oxygen units at Tata Main Hospital and other hospitals.

He added that his father was rarely at home due to his busy work schedule. At that time, the technology was not advanced, and spare parts were often imported by a handful of suppliers. He said, “Those were low technology days. Something like a pressure gauge had to be sourced from a particular shop in Calcutta which imported them. He would go personally to check and buy.”

Kanchan Gupta thanked the doctors and healthcare workers

While remembering his father, Kanchan heartily thanked the ambulance driver who carefully shifted his father to the hospital. He thanked all the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who tried their best to save him and eased his pain during his last hours. He said, “And my gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff who tried their best, eased his pain, and remained by his side till the end.”

Guptas decided not to use a ventilator

One of the hardest decisions for a family would be to reject ventilator support. Kanchan said that he and his brother decided not to use the ventilator for their father as there was no hope of survival left. Putting him on a ventilator would have blocked the machine that could save someone else’s life. He said, “That machine would have been needlessly blocked. Better a #COVID19 patient with higher chances should get it. Baba would have wanted it that way. My late mother would have approved.”

Last rites will be done as per protocol

He added that they did not burden the already overwhelmed local cremation ground by insisting on last rites before others in the queue. Gupta decided to let municipal authorities book the slot at the electric crematorium and do the needful. He further added that the last rites of his father would be possibly done by a night of May 4 as per the Covid-19 protocols.

Kanchan Gupta is a veteran journalist and former advisor to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He is currently serving as Chairman, Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata, and is a member of the Prime Minister’s Committee on Netaji 125th Anniversary.

Kanchan’s father, with his widowed mother and siblings, had fled to India during 1947-50. While working on a book on the plight of Hindu Bengali refugees from East Pakistan as perceived through Bangla literature, he wrote a tweet thread in which he mentioned that the refugees from East Pakistan were deemed as ‘Permanent Liability’ by Nehru Government that included his family.

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