This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Saurav Kumar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

No Food, Patients Lying On The Ground: My 7-Day Visit To Bihar’s Premier Govt. Hospital

More from Saurav Kumar

This article is an effort to show the reality of the so-called ‘susashan’ in Bihar and its bitter impact on the healthcare system, which demands immediate intervention to make sure public expenditure is being properly allocated.

This visit was undertaken by me as an anonymous visitor. The information mentioned below was the result of seven visits to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in 2017.

Day 1 and 2: The Emergency Ward

Patients were seen lying on both sides of the corridor pathway. Few were on the ground and a few on the hospital bed. The saline bottles were seen hanging with the support of electrical wire in the ward. A Patient with oxygen mask was seen lying down without a bed. Two families were even seen quarrelling over the hospital bed.

Day 3: The Orthopedics Ward

A middle-aged woman from Buxar was found waiting for 14 days for the operation of her left leg which was put on hold by doctors. The reason was that the bed on which operation was supposed to take place happen was broken.

Ranjan Kumar, a resident of West Champaran, was in PMCH for his mother’s treatment. He was disappointed by the lack of basic amenities like toilet, water, food, etc. The attitude of the hospital staff and the doctors were also among his reasons for dissatisfaction.

Day 4: The Burn Ward

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) had an unimaginable view. It had no restriction or time-based entry system. It had six patients. Patients had their acquaintances along with them without any preventive measures against infection. They just had a mosquito net as their body cover.

Day 5: The Pediatrics Ward

The pediatric ward is under constant visit from doctors and nurses but lacks sufficient space. The bed arrangement for children is a bit chaotic which can easily lead to transmission of infections. This ward did not have any waiting area for visitors.

Day 6: Overview Of Basic Amenities

The water and food supply are lacking. There are only two water filters with just one in working condition. To fetch water is to be part of a long queue which often leads to chaos and quarrels.

The food provided to patients by the hospital management is without protection. The food container does not have any cover and is passed around in different wards on a hospital bed.

There is no canteen for visitors or acquaintances of patients. Acquaintances of patients prepare food by themselves sitting beside an open drain in a sewage area.

There is an open space near the main entrance of the hospital with water taps. This space is used by both men and women for taking a bath. The worst part is the people who use this space for taking a bath need to pay ₹10 to a private vendor.

Day 7: Interaction With Visitors, Vendors And Security Personnel

I interacted with several people who were either visitors or acquaintances of patients, vendors and security guards. The first and most common concern was the scarcity of hospital beds. Incidents of quarrel among needy people are commonplace.

I had an audio-visual interaction with three acquaintances of patients from East and West Champaran. Their main complaint was the unavailability of medicine within the premises of PMCH. They were compelled to purchase medicines from private medicine shops, thus increasing their economic burden.

The owner of a small shop just beside the exit door of PMCH expressed his concern about the hospital. His experience of eight years revealed a depressing truth. In reply to a question as to whether he will opt for treatment at PMCH or not, he refused, saying, “This place has put many lives in risk, all those who are poor and are from unstable economic background come to PMCH in compulsion.”

The same was repeated by the security guard of an SBI ATM near the hospital. In simple words, he said, “Only economically weak people come to PMCH keeping their lives at risk. I never saw a VVIP or any rich person coming to Bihar’s largest government hospital.”

There is no waiting area inside the hospital premises. The same is the case with the Pediatrics building. Visitors sit in the open air under a tree irrespective of any weather condition.

A state with rapid GDP growth is poor when it comes to basic healthcare. The majority of the population cannot afford private healthcare and thereby risk their lives by getting treated at places like PMCH, Patna.

In FY 2016-17, Bihar attained the highest GDP% among all states but the condition of healthcare in the state is dire.

Even according to RBI reports, the allocated funds to the Bihar government have not been utilised by elected representatives of the state.

Chart 6 clearly shows the undermined status of the state’s healthcare. The correlation of GSDP and healthcare is negative. Even if the budget allocation for healthcare has risen in a couple of years, the bad condition of a government hospital remains unchanged.

In a decade, the reality could have been better under Nitish Kumar. His desperation to be in power as Chief Minister has led to the ‘susashan’ model failing to fulfil the basic requirements of people.

The Bihar Health Minister, Mr Mangal Pandey, can afford to pass his time in Karnataka to help out his party. This so-called ‘development’ ridicules basic needs of the people of Bihar. Is this not a questionable kind of ‘development’?

Our grievance is justifiable as without good health and effective healthcare, how could we imagine prosperity?

Saurav Kumar is an activist for education and health, Bihar. He can be reached at

You must be to comment.

More from Saurav Kumar

Similar Posts

By Anuska Roy

By Saumya Rastogi

By India Development Review (IDR)

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below