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12 days of fast

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Issuing a press release on the twelfth day of his sixth fast unto death senior orthopedic surgeon and professor at TU Teaching Hospital Dr Govinda KC reiterated that he would not end his hunger strike unless all the points on the past deal are implemented.

“If the state was serious about providing quality education and health services to the people, fulfilling our demands wouldn’t be a difficult task,” reads the statement.

Dr KC went on a hunger strike for the sixth time demanding reforms in the medical education. He has been demanding the report submitted by Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led committee be implemented without distortions.

The report has made recommendations including opening government medical colleges in areas outside Kathmandu Valley, limiting the quota of medical students to 100 and fixing the tuition fees to Rs 3.5 million among others.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala upon receiving the report from the Mathema-led committee had assured immediate implementation. But when the then-Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal presented the report to the Cabinet for consideration, ministers including Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam demanded it be discussed under related cabinet committee.

The report was then sent to Social Committee of the cabinet headed by Gautam, where the report lay for more than a month. When Dr KC warned of another hunger strike, a separate technical committee led by member of National Planning Commission (NPC) Yagya Bahadur Karki and including secretaries of Education, Health and Finance Ministry was formed to work out an action plan.

The action plan submitted by this committee excluded key points including student who want to pursue MBBS studies should have secured at least 60 per cent marks in higher secondary level, fixing the tuition fees to Rs 3.5 million, mandatory passing of university entrance exams for foreign students. Even the Mathema-led committee had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s office regarding this.

While Dr KC’s hunger strike has garnered much support from various quarters, the government seems to be preoccupied with the protests in the Tarai to give it much thought. During the past hunger strikes, the government had looked eager to sort out the differences, the response this time has been lukewarm.

A meeting of the Social Committee of the Cabinet earlier this week to discuss the policy could still not agree on several key points including status of medical schools in Kathmandu that are still waiting for affiliation and quota of the students. This came as no surprise since many political leaders including CPN-UML leader Rajendra Pandey have invested in medical schools awaiting affiliation. The UML leaders had threatened to disrupt the House even last time Dr KC went on strike.

The committee had however agreed on the maximum tuition fee of Rs 3.5 million.

Although, Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Santa Raj Subedi visited Dr KC and urged him to end the hunger strike and the talks between Vice-chair of NPC Govinda Raj Pokharel and representatives of Dr KC ended on a positive note, KC has refused to end his hunger strike until all the demands are fulfilled.


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3 Responses to “12 days of fast”

  1. bdns on Says:

    what a wacko doc. if fasting wud change things, lets all do that instead of going to work. why dont this doc put his hands together and build something real, work to make real change.

  2. Ravi Raj Kaur on Says:

    When these demands are normal, why should it come to this point? I remember the radio journalist and Ministers visiting him.
    Ridiculous it has to be drama all over again. When KC is a doctor and manager, knows what he is doing is not like he is asking you to rebuild his private home. Compassion with the good people they should not all have to commit suicide!!!

  3. Saroj Grg on Says:

    There is a deep political link that connects to this case. The political incumbents have been feeding themselves with corruptions money. And I can’t really expect it to be Dr Kc ‘s victory. Corruption outmaneuvers equality in this ill gotten country. We will be fed to believe that it will improve but it will not. Petroleum prices will be subsidized but nt education. Transgender rights will b legalize but not free market. Goons will be put to an end but not corruption. TIN jindabad.

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