Home > Calcutta, Law and governance > AMRI: Boycott the guilty

AMRI: Boycott the guilty

Yesterday’s fire at the AMRI Dhakuria killed at least 90, of them 87 were patients. Many of them were probably under sedation, or so ill that they might not have been able to save themselves even if they knew what was happening. All the more reason for a hospital to make fire exits and have enough external openings for firemen to get in and out.

Many stories are heard about how the fire started, and how the hospital had violated regulations by turning a basement parking lot into a storage area where inflammable stuff was kept (diesel and motor oil for generators, rumors say). But that part is not the most important: would it have made a difference if the fire spread through legitimate, non-regulation-violating, objects in the hospital?

The real issue, and where the hospital authorities are guilty, is what happened after the fire started. The fire alarms did not work. Local slum-dwellers alerted the security guards to the fire, but the guards did not call the fire service. (Apparently some years ago, a guard had called the fire department during a smaller fire that was put under control by the guards themselves. That guard was nearly fired himself,  and was allowed to continue working after a stern warning. Probably because the hospital owners did not want the fire dept to know that fire safety regulations were being grossly violated!) When the fire engines arrived, they could not come close to the hospital because it was in a narrow lane, with only one entrance. The entire building was glass, essentially sealed,  so most people actually died of suffocation.

The hospital owners are guilty of ignoring many regulations to maximize their profit (and the doctors who work there also did not care about such things, even though many of them have trained abroad, where there are strict fire regulations). They have been arrested, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health portfolio, wants to see them punished.

But our courts are slow, and these people will stay in jail while their bail petitions are heard, and their bail petitions will go all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary, and quite likely they will ultimately make bail and it will be several years before the courts will decide on their culpability. In the meanwhile, there is something we can do — we can boycott the owners.This will serve the additional purpose of providing them with less money for hiring the top lawyers.

Boycott the Emami group and its brands: Emami Baby Massage Oil, Boroplus Antiseptic Cream, Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder, Fair and Handsome, Hairlife, Himani Fast Relief, Malai Kesar Cold Cream, Mentho Plus, Navratna Cool Talc, Navratna Extra Thanda, Navratna Lite, Navratna Oil, Sonachandi Amritprash, Sonachandi Chyawanprash and these day, all Zandu products, as well as Starmark bookshops and the Emami/Landmark market in Lord Sinha Road.

The Shrachi group is mostly into real estate development and agricultural machinery, but it has a few restaurants which can be boycotted: Blue Hugli/News at the Hometown mall in Rajarhat New Town, Sarson in the South City mall, and Buzz Court at the Junction mall in Durgapur.

If you are willing to go a bit further, boycott the South City mall, which is a joint venture between these two groups (and some others) and the Junction mall, Durgapur, which is purely Shrachi.

It may not be possible to strictly boycott all of these for all time, but you may want to consider boycotting all of these for a month. And please copy the list of brands from above and paste to your blog and to facebook and ask your friends and family to boycott these brands. Thank you.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. December 11, 2011 at 2:02 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: