Almost everyone in Silchar and the rest of Barak Valley is acquainted with the tragic story of Sayantan Chakraborty. His is a story of a young man who passed away due to the lack of health infrastructure in the valley. For those who are not aware of Sayantan’s story, Sayantan was a young and cheerful man who belonged to Silchar but lived in Kolkata. During Durga Puja in 2019, he along with his friends visited his hometown of Silchar. Late Navami night while he was with his friends, he started having bodily discomfort and started sweating heavily. After reaching home, he started having pain in his chest. When the pain became unbearable, he was taken to Mediland Hospital, from where he was referred to the SM Dev Civil Hospital. In the civil hospital, a certain Dr. Hazarika said that the pain was nothing severe and that there was no reason for concern. However when the pain persisted, Sayantan was taken to Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) where Dr. Ahmed said that it was not possible to treat him in Silchar as there was no facility of angioplasty in SMCH or any private hospital in the valley. As it was Bijoya Dashami, it took them some time to get hold of an ambulance to take him to Shillong. While on the way to Shillong, his situation worsened and he sadly passed away.
After Sayantan’s death, his friends and well wishers formed a group called ‘Thousand Sayantans’ to demand reforms into the health infrastructure of Barak Valley. We had a conversation with Mr. Binayak Bhattacharjee and Mr. Rohit Choudhury, conveners of Thousand Sayantans. They have made several efforts to bring a cardiologist to the SMCH and start angioplasty in the valley. In their efforts, they have knocked on several doors and have met several powerful and influential persons. They met Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma at Ramkrishna Nagar with the help of Mr. Gautam Roy. They were assured that a cardiologist would be appointed to the SMCH within a month. But that assurance was never met. Thousand Sayantans also contacted the MLA of Silchar and also tried to contact the MP of Silchar. They submitted memorandums to the SDO, the DC of Cachar, the Media Advisor of Himanta Biswa Sarma, the office of the CM of Assam and also to the Prime Minister’s office. However, there hasn’t been any progress in this regard. Dr. Manash Bora was supposed to be appointed to SMCH, but it was never successful due to various demands of Dr. Bora. They also talked to Dr. Dibanath Chakraborty when he visited Silchar, but they didn’t receive any positive response from him. They said that the Principal of SMCH Dr. Babul Bezbaruah was very helpful and sent out advertisements for the appointment of a cardiologist in SMCH. But no doctor was interested in the appointment.
Finally with the help of Padma Shri Dr. Ravi Kannan, renowned cardiologist Dr. Rakesh Gopal was brought to Silchar. He agreed to serve Silchar and decided that he would form a team in Silchar with local doctors who would work under his guidance. However due to reasons unknown, Dr. Gopal’s appointment hasn’t been approved yet, and has remained pending till date. They got to know that the appointment is pending for approval at the office of Mr. Sameer Sinha, Principal Secretary, Health Ministry, Government of Assam. Ms. Sushmita Dev and Mr. Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha contacted Mr. Sinha and they got a positive response from him regarding the appointment of a cardiologist at SMCH.
Thousand Sayantans want to ensure that no cardiac patient of the valley faces the same fate as Sayantan did due to the lack of Health Infrastructure in the Valley. They believe that if they are able to save even one patient through their efforts, then their fight will be a success and Sayantan’s death will not go in vain.
(12th July is the birth anniversary of Sayantan Chakraborty, and this article is a tribute to the departed soul of Sayantan)