Atishi's indefinite hunger strike over Delhi's water scarcity ends with her hospitalisation

Delhi Water Minister Atishi's indefinite hunger strike to demand water for the national capital amid its ongoing scarcity came to an end after she was hospitalised due to her worsening health conditions in the early hours of Tuesday.
Atishi being shifted to LNJP hospital after her health deteriorated during her indefinite hunger strike demanding Haryana government to release Delhi's share of water, in New Delhi.
Atishi being shifted to LNJP hospital after her health deteriorated during her indefinite hunger strike demanding Haryana government to release Delhi's share of water, in New Delhi.

New Delhi | Delhi Water Minister Atishi's indefinite hunger strike to demand water for the national capital amid its ongoing scarcity came to an end after she was hospitalised due to her worsening health conditions in the early hours of Tuesday.

Atishi, who holds multiple portfolios in the Delhi government, was admitted to the emergency ICU at the Lok Nayak Hospital and her condition is stable now, with doctors saying she will take a couple of days to recover.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva wished good health and happiness to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, even as he said "she should stop misleading the public".

Giving an update on Atishi's health, the hospital's Medical Director, Dr Suresh Kumar, said her condition is stable but she is in the intensive care unit (ICU).

"She was advised hospitalisation on Monday evening after her sugar levels fell and the presence of ketones was detected in her urine. She had declined hospitalisation. However, at midnight, as her condition deteriorated and she was drowsy, she was admitted. She is currently stable and in the ICU. Her blood tests were done and things are fine. She is conscious," the senior doctor said.

He said Atishi is being given liquids and is on intravenous therapy. Her sugar levels had fallen to 36mg/dL.

Explaining the consequences of the sharp decline, Kumar said if a person's sugar level goes below 50 mg/dL, it can have serious consequences.

"Brain cells need glucose and if glucose does not reach them, it causes drowsiness and unconsciousness. If not given medical attention on time, a patient can go into a hypoglycemic coma. A fall in the blood sugar levels can also lead to multiple organ failure. Hypoglycemia is a medical emergency for brain cells and other organs if not addressed in time," he added.

The normal sugar levels in the blood are between 70 mg/dL and 100 mg/dL.

Atishi had begun her hunger strike on June 21.

AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said the minister ended her indefinite fast after she was hospitalised.

At a press conference here, Singh said Atishi's health deteriorated after being on fast for nearly five days and she was admitted to the LNJP hospital around 3:45 am.

He said all MPs of the AAP will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that Delhi gets its rightful share of water from Haryana. The issue will also be raised by the AAP and its political allies in Parliament, Singh added.

Over the last three weeks, Haryana had reduced Delhi's share of Yamuna water by 100 MGD. However, it has increased the amount of water released in the last two days and the shortfall is 90 MGD now, Singh said.

A post on X from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's official handle said the people of Delhi "will definitely give a reply to the injustice that the BJP government (at the Centre) is doing" to the national capital. The post on the microblogging platform was made by Kejriwal's team.

"Delhi's Water Minister Atishi ji was on an indefinite hunger strike so that the people of Delhi could get their rightful share of water. She has been admitted to the hospital after her health deteriorated last night.

"Today, every Delhiite is worried about her health. The people of Delhi will definitely give a reply to the injustice that the BJP government is doing to Delhi. We all wish Atishi good health. Every Delhiite is with her in this satyagraha. Posted by: Team Arvind Kejriwal," the post in Hindi read.

Former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal, who has levelled charges of assault against Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar, also wished Atishi a speedy recovery. She said the strength to go on a hunger strike comes only from the struggle on the ground and not from speaking lies.

"Atishiji, Gandhiji had named the sacred method of fasting as satyagraha. Satyagraha is always done with a true and pure heart. I fasted twice. Once for 10 days and once for 13 days. After my fast, a law was made in the country that child rapists should be given the death penalty.

"The path of struggle is very difficult. The strength to go on a hunger strike is gained only by struggling on the ground for many years. Not by saying lies and dirty things about others the whole day. I hope your health improves soon and you work for the people of Delhi," she said in a post in Hindi on X.

Echoing similar sentiments, Sachdeva said the essence of "satyagraha" is to fight for the truth.

"We have been saying since June 21 that you cannot do satyagraha because you have no connection with the truth. From Mahatma Gandhi and Lala Lajpat Rai to Vinoba Bhave and Anna Hazare, satyagrahis fasted to reveal the truth, not to hide their administrative failures, as Atishi intended to do," he claimed.

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