Guwahati, June 17: Family members of Mumbai-based businessman Narendra Shah, who died at the LGBI Airport here yesterday, are likely to bring to notice of rights groups the lack of medical support at the airport.
“If my brother was given immediate treatment at the airport and rushed to a hospital, he would not have died. I was told he was taken to hospital 30 minutes after he collapsed. This is sheer violation of human rights and rights organisations should take note of it. Once we reach home and all rituals are performed, I will take up the matter with rights groups,” Shah’s younger brother, Jitendra, told this correspondent, minutes before leaving the city.
Narendra Shah, 62, had fallen ill around 2.30am yesterday, after he landed at the airport from Imphal and was waiting to catch a Guwahati-Mumbai Jet Airways flight at 6.45pm. Since there was no doctor at the airport to provide him medical support, he was taken to Azara public heath centre 5km away, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Soon after receiving the news of Shah’s death, his son Sagar, brother Jitendra and niece Dhabal rushed for Guwahati but reached only Calcutta last night. They reached Guwahati at 9am today but had a harrowing time here.
“We rushed to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital for the post-mortem but were kept waiting till 2.30pm, before we received the body,” Sagar said, as the airport staff carried his father’s coffin to the Guwahati-Mumbai flight at 4.45pm. “What has happened to my father should not happen to any other person,” an inconsolable Sagar said, before check-in.
A grieving Jitendra made an earnest appeal to the airport authorities. “We have been informed there is a doctor but he remains absent most of the time. Authorities here should learn a lesson and immediately deploy doctors and emergency medical facilities or a similar incident might happen again and somebody else might die. Many aged and ill people travel by air from here daily. Many people from other parts of the country also visit the region for business and other activities. If they are not provided proper medical facilities in case of an emergency situation at the airport, it will send a bad message outside,” he said, while entering the airport terminal.
Shah is survived by his wife and three sons. A supplier of utensils, he used to visit the Northeast once a month on business trips.
Airport authorities had yesterday said Shah had to be rushed to Azara health centre after he collapsed, as the only doctor was not available because it was the weekend.
“We have a doctor but he remains on duty only from Monday to Friday,” Suresh Hota, airport director, had said. An airport source, however, said the doctor was not present on any day.