Gastroenteritis Plagues Ludhiana’s Poor

Gastroenteritis takes lives in Ludhiana, due to lack of medical support and sanitation. Jai Kumar lives and runs a school in Durga Colony in Ludhiana, where, after the monsoons last year, the death toll resulting from a gastroenteritis epidemic rose to 9. "All the parents of the children in my school, the teachers...everyone was falling sick. I myself was sick. We had to shut the school for two weeks," he said. Seeing the apathy from the health and sanitation departments in the face of this outbreak, Jai Kumar was compelled to make a video on the situation. "The deaths have reduced, but people are still falling ill all the time." Gastroenteritis or "stomach flu" is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract resulting in acute diarrhoea and repeated regurgitation. It is transferred by contact through contaminated food and water. "The areas around these people's homes are filthy. There are no proper toilets, there is no sewerage system, the water they drink has not been treated," Jai Kumar explained. Durga colony, Ishwar Colony, Premnagar, Sherpur, Fauzi Colony and Teednagar are the affected areas that Jai Kumar visited while he was shooting. "I know that the government is supposed to send doctors for routine check-ups, and give out medicines to those who need them. The health officials are supposed to chlorinate the water. They don't do anything. They don't even come. They don't want to take on the burden." Jai Kumar plans to take this video to the municipal authorities and the health and sanitation departments, so that they will be pushed into taking action. "We cannot have another outbreak this monsoon season."

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