To Die or Not to Die in Siliguri ? That is the Question.


Almost every patient from the hill regions of Darjeeling and Kalimpong district are referred to Siliguri – be it for diagnostics, tests or treatment. Our contributor Binay Sharma shares his frustration towards the pathetic healthcare facilities in our region.

Though I had written this article a long time ago but did not dare to post it, as it does not have the power of “Indian Idol” that toppled ” आप्पा को शासन (Appa’s reign), or charm of any other TV serial which attracts most of the ladies in front of the TV, in different places, at the same time. So I was reluctant.

I know we Gorkheys are like the “Epicureans”, but now CORONA being at our doorsteps everyone seems to notice the dilapidated condition of our healthcare system so I, finally mustered up the courage to post it.

That is true even the most developed & powerful countries in the world had to kneel in front of this deadly virus & their state of art technologies could not save millions of lives, so what chance could we have in a place like Darjeeling? where healthcare is almost inexistent? Forget about Covid, even in the normal time mostly we are referred to Siliguri even for a minor test, & during an emergency, either we are dying on the way or in Siliguri.

Is it not an irony that some of the hospitals have doctors, nurses & patients from the hills, but Hospital is in Siliguri?

There are many stories about how we paharday (Hills folks) being treated & cheated in Siliguri by the Hospitals. But has anyone ever registered a complaint? I doubt. I wonder how many of us are aware of the consumer forum ? We know & they know, that we don’t like to go to “Court- kachari”.  So this malpractice will continue.

These are the expressions that we hear often about Darjeeling “अबुई हुँदै न, मैला जता ततै , बाटो साँघुरो , पानी  को दुख,  Internet पनि चल्दै न “etc. We, blame the municipality, Govt,  politicians, & the immigrant, but never admit that we are, if not fully, partially responsible for this “deplorable condition” of Darjeeling. because:

  • Who is asking for Tribal Boards When we all desperately need a good hospital a university & better infrastructure?  my grandmother would have said, मुख मा माड  छैन पिन मा घ्यु  .
  • Who is selling our children’s future for  खोला नाला र समाज घर को contract को काम सित ?
  • Who is active in the respective “cast based samaj “such as “Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Gurung, Newar, Lepcha, Bhutia” etc,instead of working together for the betterment of the whole Gorkhey community?  
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Sadly our priority is no more on collective development but individual & jati based.

WE all deserve to “die with dignity, at home, in Darjeeling, not in a Maruti van ko ambulance ma on the way to Siliguri or among the stranger in Siliguri. but who cares? भै हाल छ! The attitude that we have.

We all are busy doing petty politics, petty business, for petty gain with big egos. We no longer have a  sense of belongings.

But it is high time for all of us (especially those in power) to change “Me & Mine” mindset. Dying in hills has become a luxury & who knows? Even the immense fortune amassed by you may not help you from dying in “Maruti van ko ambulance ma” on the way to Siliguri??

Writes: Binay Sharma

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