On August 10, 2017, 70 children died due to cut in oxygen supply at BRD medical college, in district Gorakhpur of Uttar Pradesh in India. Dr Kafeel Khan, who was present at that time on the scene witnessed these death which occurred due to non-payment of dues of oxygen cylinders. On August 13, 2017 Dr kafeel who was the professor at BRD medical college,was removed from his duty and later arrested on the charges of dereliction of duty.
After 9 months of imprisonment on 25 April, Khan was released on bail . The court ruled that there was no evidence of medical negligence on his part. DR Khan, as per the evidences, tried hard and even paid from his pocket to arrange the oxygen with the help of local officers was hailed by the media and Medical association, blamed the government for negligence and called it “a massacre”.
Story of Dr Khan has now got a mention in recently released blockbuster of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, Jawan. ANM Team recently met Dr Kafeel Khan to know his reactions on the mention of his efforts to save children who died due non-payment of oxygen dues. “ Yes I have seen the Film and am very pleased that Shahrukh Khan sir and Director Atlee has made such a Bold film that is receiving appreciation in India and abroad. I am getting calls from the very first day that Sanya Malhotra had played a role inspired from my tragedy in the film. I am very thankful to SRK for mentioning many real life incidents in the film including mine.” said Kafeel.
Dr Kafeel khan has also penned down a book on the incident that happened with him “ The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy”. Dr Kafeel was a junior most lecturer at the college paediatrics department at that time when many kids died due to shortage of oxygen cylinders in the hospital. Kafeel tried hard to arrange oxygen cylinders to prevent deaths but he was held responsible for the deaths and sent to jail. Dr Kafeel Khan has written a Book on that fateful night in August 2017 and the gut wrenching turmoil that followed his suspension, and his fight for justice. This Book is published in many languages like English, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Oriya, Bengali, Telugu etc..
Dr Kafeel thanked Shahrukh on social media for this Film and desired to meet him and the entire unit of Jawan. He has already written a letter and sent his book to SRK .
Dr Kafeel says he always wanted someone to make a Film on him, for which he visited many prominent filmmakers in Mumbai but everybody asked him to wait for some time. Film Jawan is like a dream come true he said, “Only SRK sir can make such a film. I am so happy that my real life incident is mentioned in the film. I want to meet him personally now. At least I have got justice In the Film though real culprits are roaming free.” Kafeel added. Jawan Film hit the silver screen on 7 September. The film is being hailed for its bold political messages.
The movie, which delves into the tragic Gorakhpur Encephalitis incident, resonated deeply with Dr. Kafeel Khan, who himself had a personal connection with the incident and its aftermath.
In his letter, Dr. Khan has hailed Shah Rukh Khan’s commitment for using cinema as a powerful medium to shed light on critical socio-political issues. He praised the film’s poignant portrayal of the Gorakhpur tragedy, emphasizing the urgency for accountability within the healthcare system, a theme that “Jawan” powerfully conveys.
He particularly appreciated the character of Dr. Eeram Khan, portrayed by actress Sanya Malhotra, which resonated with his own experiences. Dr. Khan lamented the real culprits of the Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy still being at large, himself struggling to regain his job, and the grieving parents awaiting justice.
Dr. Kafeel Khan took the opportunity to share that he has authored a book titled “The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy,” published by Pan Macmillan and available in multiple languages. The book provides a comprehensive firsthand account of the tragedy and its aftermath, paralleling elements of the movie’s plot.
Dr. Khan also expressed his desire to meet Shah Rukh Khan, the talented director Atlee, and other members of the film’s crew. He aimed to personally convey his gratitude for their efforts in bringing the Gorakhpur tragedy to light and initiating vital conversations about healthcare accountability in India.
In his closing words, Dr. Kafeel Khan assured Shah Rukh Khan of his unwavering dedication to serving his fellow countrymen, expressing his gratitude for the actor’s role as a beacon of hope. Dr. Khan eagerly awaited a response from the Bollywood icon.