Lucknow: A two-month long campaign by residents of an Uttar Pradesh district, which saw many Muslims writing to the Prime Minister's Office in Sanskrit to demand an AIIMS facility, has finally forced authorities to sit up and take notice.
The PMO has asked the District Magistrate of Mahoba in Bundelkhand, about 250 kms from the state capital, to submit a report about the campaign.
"I have been asked by the Prime Minister's office (PMO) about the campaign and those involved in it,", District Magistrate Vireshwar Singh told PTI over phone.
The people of this district have been sending post cards to the PMO for past two months highlighting the need for setting up an AIIMS in the district, which has a population of around 10 lakh. According to activists, the backward Bundelkhand region lacks health care infrastructure and the district, being centrally located, is an ideal place for an advanced medical facility.
They have adopted a novel way of making an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which Muslims are writing to him in Sanskrit.
Tara Patkar, a social activist involved in the campaign, said that the DM had called them seeking details of the campaign as he had to give a report to the PMO in this regard.
"We are hopeful of getting an AIIMS for this district. PMO will certainly act in our favour. We have sent over 60,000 postcards to the Prime Minister. Muslim youths and children are writing to him in Sanskrit with the demand," he said.
Patkar, who is coordinator of Bundeli Samaj which spearheads the campaign, said that besides in Urdu, they were also sending 10,000 letters to PM in Bundeli and other languages like Sindhi, Punjabi and even Malayalam to press their demand.
"Our campaign will continue till our demand is met. We hope the PMO will take positive action on our genuine demand," he added.
The campaign was launched in March and some 1,000 post cards are being sent to the prime minister daily from this district.
"Camps are being run at all prominent places like railway stations, bus stops and hospitals to make the campaign a success. Even schools have also been approached," Patkar said.
Justifying the demand, Patkar said the district is situated in the heart of Bundelkhand and does not have medical care facilities.
"Patients admitted in primary health centres are referred to Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra and to districts of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh. Setting up of AIIMS will help the entire region, spread over seven districts in UP and five in Madhya Pradesh," he added.
The campaign is being supported by people from the district as well as elsewhere, including abroad, the activists said.
"Those living in the US, England, Australia and Saudi Arabia are also helping us in the campaign by writing similar letters to the prime minister. We are also taking donations in the form of post cards, which are being distributed through camps," Patkar added.