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Lack of Medical Aid Claims the Life of a Vavurla Villager in Quepem Taluka, South Goa

No Infrastructure, medical facilities and a lack of a proper commuting facility such as a motorable road in the state of Goa leads to
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No Infrastructure, medical facilities and a lack of a proper commuting facility such as a motorable road in the state of Goa leads to losing the life of a common man at times. But the government seems not doing much except giving the false promises to the voters and keeping them hopeful. In one such case of lack of medical aid, the resident of Vavvurla situated in Quepem Taluka had to lose his life.

According to the reports, the place is situated in the remote mountain which does not even have the basic facilities of a motorable road making it extremely difficult for villagers in case of an emergency.

A resident of Vavurla, Govind Kuiro Velip died as he had no access to medical care after suffering a cardiac arrest. Velip was carried on a makeshift stretcher by his fellow villagers who walked a distance of 3.5 km by foot to get to the nearest motorable road to take him to the nearest medical facility, the primary health centre at Canaconca 15 km away.

Villagers said that Velip expired while being shifted from the Canacona Primary health centre to Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim.

The delay in reaching the hospital as well as the stress endured by him of being carried downhill possibly aggravated his condition. Villagers feel that access to immediate access to medical care could have saved his life.

Goa Medical College, although all is not well here but something better than nothing

This is not the first case in the village. The absence of basic facilities, villagers have to rely on converting chairs into makeshift stretchers to carry the sick up and down the steep treacherous mountain path and are the only option for villagers.

Velip’s death has once again brought to light the careless attitude of successive governments in providing basic infrastructural facilities to Vavurla.

Vavurla is a fully tribal inhabited village which comes under the Barcem panchayat and has a population of a little over 300, with 35 houses. The village falls under forest area, restrictions on development activities particularly on road construction, have led to the village remaining virtually cut off from the rest of the State.

In October 2018, the State Government had directed the tribal welfare department to examine the feasibility of providing various basic infrastructural facilities to the village so that adequate funds could be allocated for the purpose in the next financial budget. The then director of the tribal welfare department, Venancio Furtado, had stated that a solution would be worked out through the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, after attempts to construct a road from the Gaondongrim side had hit a roadblock following objections from the forest department.

Hospicio Hospital in Margao caters to the south Goa People

Furtado speaking to TOI some time back said “Under the Forest Rights Act 2006, the community rights of the forest dwellers need to be protected. Roads come under community rights. I have asked the PWD which will be visiting Vavurla on Wednesday to examine both options for construction of the road – from the Gaondongrim side and Gokuldem side”

However, as the report has been kept on hold, Vavurla is forced to resign to its fate.

A village elder, Munno Velip stated that their only demand from the government is to provide the village with a road so that at least ambulances can fetch the sick from this village to the hospital. He further stated that this demand was repeatedly put before the local MLA when he visits the village every 5 years during election time but they have only been getting assurances and so far nothing has been done to alleviate the problems of the villagers.

Source: TOI 

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