- A day before his death, the 25-year-old shared a post on his social media that he would have lived had he received proper and timely medical care.
For the past few weeks, thousands in India have died due to complications from COVID-19 as an unprecedented second wave ravages the sub- continent. Thirty-five-year-old popular Indian actor and vlogger Rahul Vohra is now among the many victims, his death made more poignant by a Facebook post shared a day earlier in which he wrote that he would have lived had he received proper and timely medical care.
Last week, Vohra had sought a hospital bed with an oxygen supply for himself. He was admitted to New Delhi’s Rajeev Gandhi Super Speciality hospital, and was then shifted to Dwarka’s Ayushman Hospital on May 8 evening. He passed away on May 9.
Vohra’s wife Jyoti Tiwari announced his demise shortly after he appeared in a final video criticizing the quality of his medical care and alleging medical negligence for his death. “Everyone knows that my Rahul is gone but no one knows how he went,” she said in an Instagram post that would go on and criticize the hospital’s care of Vohra. “This is how treatment is done there. I hope my husband will get justice. One more Rahul should not leave this world. #JusticeforIrahulVohra.”
The note further said, “Rahul left behind several unfulfilled dreams. He wanted to do good work, prove his worth in the industry but it is all unfulfilled now. The people who watched him suffer are responsible for his death. They continued giving us false updates. I’m not the only one who is going through this situation, there are thousands of Jyoti out there who have lost their Rahul due to the poor healthcare system. Don’t know how such people can sleep peacefully leaving someone to die. #justiceforirahulvohra.”
Vohra has gathered a large following on Facebook and YouTube, with tens of millions viewing his content. He was most well-known for his short comedic videos. In his final video that he recorded before his death, Vohra lambasted the care he was receiving at a hospital that is suffering from overcrowding and few resources as India is dealing with an unprecedented second wave of coronavirus. “The oxygen is extremely valuable right now,” Vohra said in his video posted by his wife. “Without it, patients get giddy and suffer. You try and call out for the attendant, but they don’t come. They come in an hour’s time or more, and you have to manage in their absence somehow.”
In a Facebook post also written prior to his death, Vohra used his platform to seemingly criticize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi by tagging him in the post. In the heart-breaking post on Facebook from his Delhi hospital bed, Vohra wrote: “Mujhe bhi treatment achha mil jaata to main bhi bach jaata (I would have lived had I received better treatment)," adding details of which hospital he was in. He further wrote: “Jald janam lunga aur achha kaam karunga, ab himmat haar chuka hu (I will be reborn soon and do good work, I have lost my courage now). “I would have lived had I received better treatment. Yours, Rahul Vohra.”
Several celebrities had reacted to the post. One among them was silver screen star Kishwer Merchant (of “Hip Hip Hurray,” “Ek Hasina Thi “ ame), who wished that his message had reached actor Sonu Sood (who is helping many COVID-19 patients and their families). Kishwer wrote: “I so wish his message had reached @sonu_sood .. things would probably be different…prayers and strength to the family.”
Other celebrities too were heartbroken with his demise. Singer, actor and standup comic Amit Tandon commented: “His plea for help went unanswered. Sorry Rahul and to the thousands of souls fighting so hard yet still dying daily. WE FAILED YOU❤.” Nivedita Basu commented: “Om Shanti the bad news just doesn’t stop.” Ronit Roy wrote: “That’s devastating,” while Advik Mahajan, of “Bani – ishq da kalma” fame commented: “So do sad…RIP” and Mansi Srivastava wrote: “Really sad.”
India is in the midst of a devastating second wave of Covid-19, recording well over 300,000 new infections each day so far in May. On May 7, the country recorded a global record 414,188 new cases, according to CNN, with more than 246,000 people having died from Covid-19 in the country since the start of the pandemic.