In a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, more than ten parliamentarians have registered their grave concern at the deteriorating health of the 81-year-old people’s poet Varavara Rao, now lodged in Taloja Jail under the Bhima Koregaon case.
“It has also come to our notice through the family members of Varavara Rao that the aged poet is vomiting several times daily and is not keeping well. His family mentioned that Varavara Rao’s voice was extremely feeble when he could speak to them on a call made after a month,” the letter reads.
The letter was undersigned by Parliament members including DMK MPs Kanimozhi, Dr. T. Sumathy (a) Thamizhachi Thangapandian, and Tiruchi Siva, Indian National Congress MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Revanth Reddy, and Nalamada Uttam Kumar Reddy, VCK MPs Thol. Thirumavalavan and Ravikumar, RJD MP Manoj Jha, CPIM MPs P. R. Natarajan, K. K. Ragesh, and S. Venkatesan, CPI MPs M Selvaraj and K. Subbarayan.
Rao, a renowned Telugu poet, and writer has been suffering from multiple ailments. Rao’s family has been complaining of his worsening health conditions for many months now but in vain.
“We are seeing reports every day of the massive surge in COVID-19 infections within prisons (It has been reported that four deaths have already occurred in prisons across Maharashtra, all of which were later found to be COVID-19 positive.),” MPs raised the concerns.
“Two weeks ago, on 30 May 2020, he was rushed to JJ Hospital in Mumbai in a semi-conscious state on a stretcher after a fainting episode. This deterioration in his health happened while he was under observation of the doctors in the Taloja prison. Varavara Rao’s health reports from JJ hospital indicate an electrolyte disturbance which could prove detrimental as he is already a cardiac patient. He has intestinal ulcers which need urgent investigation (Colonoscopy) as directed by doctors while he was in Pune jails. This procedure has not been conducted after more than 6 months of prescription,” the letter says.
As he is under such a dire health condition, the parliamentarians urged Maharashtra CM to transfer him to a hospital and said that the present level of care provided in the jail is not acceptable.
” We also use this opportunity to request access to medical treatment for Dr GN Saibaba, the wheelchair-bound professor with 90% disabilities whose health condition is also most vulnerable,” MPs said.