Fund my treatment, Punjab jail official pleads with govt

After video goes viral, CM releases grant from discretionary quota for lung transplant

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3

“Fund my treatment and give me a chance to live, instead of giving compensation after my death.” This poignant video appeal by Deputy Jail Superintendent Harjinder Singh from a hospital bed after having lost both lungs to the Covid-19 infection has prompted the state government to put all its might to save his life.

Procedure To cost Rs 80 lakh

  • Lung transplant procedure may cost Rs80L, but there are no government rules to fund it
  • Under norms for ex gratia to kin of frontline workers dying of Covid-19, up to Rs50L is given

While there are no government rules to fund the cost of a lung transplant, which is around Rs 80 lakh, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has agreed in principle to help the officer.

DGP Dinkar Gupta tweeted that the CM had decided to support DSP’s treatment. The CM has released some funds from his discretionary quota, while Ludhiana Police Commissioner Rakesh Aggarwal has ensured free treatment for the officer at a private hospital in the city.

A panel of doctors under the Ludhiana Chief Medical Officer has been formed to advice best treatment and procedure to follow in the case.

The officer’s mother met the Chief Minister yesterday seeking help for transport and treatment of her son at a Chennai or Hyderabad hospital.

“We are in touch with doctors at these places. They have studied the case and informed us about the cost of the treatment. There is no facility of lung transplant in Punjab or Chandigarh. With government’s help, we are trying to arrange an air ambulance and will fly him once the government provides funds,” said Harry Sharma, a family friend.

Officials said there are no rules to provide such a large amount even though the state government has agreed in principle to foot the bill. Under the government guidelines for ex gratia to the family of frontline workers dying of Covid-19, a maximum sum of Rs 50 lakh can be paid.

The DSP, a divorcee, has three children — a 21-year-old daughter, married and settled in Canada, and two sons, aged 16 and six. In his video appeal, the DSP says the government will pay compensation to his family and maybe give a job a member after his death, but he has a chance to survive if he gets a lung transplant immediately. I can take care of my family on my own,” he says, struggling to catch a breath.

Harjinder is a DSP-rank officer on deputation with the Department of Jails. He is currently posted at Central Jail, Ludhiana.

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