Agra: The huge poster of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that had adorned the back of Agra resident Amit Jaiswal’s car for many years is now gone. His sister tore it off the day Jaiswal, an RSS worker the PM even followed on Twitter, died of Covid in a private hospital in Mathura.
The family had failed to find a hospital bed for him in Agra, and hoped PM Modi would “intervene” when they posted a tweet from Jaiswal’s account, tagging him and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and sought help to get remdesivir injections. The post also said they were “facing issues” in his treatment.
The 42-year-old died 10 days after testing positive for Covid, and the virus also claimed the life of his mother a few days later.
Jaiswal’s family called him a self-proclaimed “Modi bhakt” — his WhatsApp display photo is that of the PM. He proudly flaunted in his Twitter bio the fact that Modi followed him. All this gave his family the hope that the PM or the state government would respond to their call for help.
Myself Sonu Alagh
Mr. Amit Jaiswal’s sister
This is to inform that we are facing issues regarding arrangement of Ramdesivir and treatment. He is admited in NAYATI hospital, Mathura. We are need your help. He is not well @PMOIndia @narendramodi @myogiadityanath
— 𝐀𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐉𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐰𝐚𝐥 𝐉𝐚𝐢𝐧 (@ArkJaiswal) April 25, 2021
“He couldn’t hear a word against Modi and Yogi. If someone said anything remotely critical of them, he would threaten to beat them up,” said Sonu Alagh, Jaiswal’s elder sister.
On the early morning of 29 April, he died in Mathura’s Niyati Hospital, where the family had got him admitted nine days earlier.
That very day, Sonu and her husband Rajendra tore off the Modi poster from his car. The furious couple said they will “never forgive” PM Modi for his “indifference”.
“Amit ne poori zindagi PM Modi ke liye nikal di. Modi ne uske liye kya kiya? Aise PM sahab ki humein kya zaroorat? Humne poster phaadh ke nikaal diya (Amit spent his entire life fighting for PM Modi. What did Modi do for him? We tore off his poster),” Rajendra told ThePrint.
Barely 10 days after losing her brother, Sonu lost her mother too — on 9 May. Sonu and Rajendra said their life just changed in the course of a few weeks.
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‘Didn’t get any help whatsoever’
Jaiswal had a business of making boards and banners for advertisements.
But he was dedicated RSS worker too, who had been going to nearly every RSS shakha in and around Agra since his childhood, his sister Sonu recalled.
In December 2020, he made a trip to Ayodhya to pray at the under-construction Ram Mandir site, and also put up LED boards all around the city that said ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’.
“He wanted to put up these boards in Ayodhya for free of cost. It was a cause he strongly felt for,” said Sonu.
Both Amit and his mother Raj Kamal Jaiswal tested positive on 19 April, after which Sonu and Rajendra tried to get them admitted to multiple hospitals in Agra. But after failing to find a bed anywhere, took them to nearby Mathura.
A week later, the Mathura hospital asked the family to urgently arrange remdesivir injections for the mother-son duo. Sonu logged into Jaiswal’s Twitter handle and posted a message pleading for help, tagging both PM Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath.
“But we didn’t get any help whatsoever,” Sonu said.
The family somehow managed to arrange the medicine, but couldn’t save Jaiswal and his mother.
“He was one of the most hardworking members of the RSS. He was extremely passionate about the work at RSS,” said Amit Gupta, Agra’s Vijay Nagar chief of RSS wing Rozgar Bharti.
In April last year, he was given “credit”, along with other RSS volunteers from Agra, for organising an e-shakha amid the pandemic.
‘I am begging you, PM Modi’
The family alleged that the private hospital in Mathura “grossly overcharged” them, adding to their angst.
According to the bills given to the family, the total cost for Jaiswal’s treatment for 10 days ran into over Rs 4.75 lakh, while that for his mother, who spent 20 days in the hospital, cost around Rs 11 lakh.
“There are so many ‘other charges’. But what are those for? We arranged remedesivir, what are these private hospitals charging us so much money for?” Sonu asked.
Other private hospitals in the region have also come under the scanner for overcharging patients. Ravi Hospital in Agra was Monday debarred from the list of Covid hospitals after news emerged of a patient allegedly having been charged Rs 9 lakh.
“We were able to manage somehow. But a poorer family would never have been able to,” said Rajendra. The family believes if PM Modi “intervened” in time, the Covid crisis across the country could have been managed better.
An emotional Rajendra looked into ThePrint’s camera to make an appeal to PM Modi.
“I am begging you PM Modi…I understand there is a crisis in the country, but you are the most important person in the country. I am begging you, PM Modi. Please do something.”
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