Hospital denies ambulance after mathematician's death

Photo credit: Vashishtha Narayan Singh facebook page

Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in an utter show of callousness denied an ambulance to renowned mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh's family who died after a prolonged illness, to carry the body.  

The mathematician was 74. Singh, who was released from the PMCH after month-long treatment recently, was rushed back to the hospital again when his condition deteriorated in the morning.

The renowned mathematician, who once worked at NASA and California University, did not get the respect from doctors and officials of the PMCH where he breathed his last.

Expressing grief over Singh's death, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said it has caused an irreparable loss to the state and the country.

The chief minister announced that Singh will be cremated with full state honour, an official release said. Kumar later visited the maths wizard's younger brother Ayodhya Prasad Singh's house near Kulharia complex in Patna and paid floral tributes to him.

Prominent leaders from all political parties expressed grief over the death of "Vashishtha babu" as he was fondly called by the people. Those who paid respect to him included Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, union ministers Giriraj Singh, Nityanand Rai, former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, and state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal.

A video clip, which was aired on various news channels and in social media, showed Singh's younger brother Ayodhya Prasad Singh standing with his body on a stretcher outside the emergency ward of the PMCH. The hospital authorities did not provide the family with an ambulance.

Ayodhya Prasad Singh, the younger brother of the legendary mathematician, alleged that the hospital authorities did not provide him with an ambulance to take the body to his house in Patna and that's why the body was kept in the open in the hospital premises.

Asked why did not he contacted any official for help, Ayodhya Singh, while showing the death certificate provided by the PMCH, said "Whom should I tell my problem. There is no one to listen to my problem. I will take the body to my native village Basantpur in Bhojpur in a hired private ambulance.

The government never paid attention to Singh's treatment, he alleged.

Health department's Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar, however, denied that the hospital authorities kept the mathematician's body in the open. He also disagreed that the ambulance facility was provided after much delay to the family.

"Singh had died before being brought to the hospital (PMCH) and doctors were discussing whether or not post-mortem should be done in this case. This is the only reason, the body was kept for a while even Superintendent (PMCH) has denied delay in providing the ambulance. "But since the matter has appeared in news, so an inquiry will be conducted into it," Kumar told reporters here.

JD(U) leader Chhotu Singh, who was among the politicians to reach the PMCH first after getting information about his death, defended the government saying chief minister made all arrangements soon after coming to know about the mathematician's demise and announced Singh's cremation with full state honour.

PMCH Superintendent Rajiv Ranjan Prasad claimed that the ambulance was made available to Singh's family as soon as he got the information about his death.

The hospital's Deputy Superintendent Ranjit Kumar Jamuar too toed his Superintendent's line saying an ambulance was made available to the family.

Singh, who was born in Basantpur village of Bhojpur district, did his schooling from Netarhat school of then undivided Bihar.

He also studied at Patna Science College from where he straightway went to California University in 1965 and did his Ph.D from the University in 1969.

After receiving his Ph.D on Cycle Vector Space Theory, he worked at NASA. He returned to India in 1971

Singh taught at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He also worked at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

He married in the year 1974. The mathematics wizard suffered from schizophrenia. After a few years of marriage, his wife left him due to his illness.

Later, in the year 2014, Singh was appointed as guest faculty at B N Mandal University, Madhepura as a visiting professor. 

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