Source: HT News Service.
Published on: October 5, 2023


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Dr. Kafeel Khan Extends His Thanks to Shah Rukh Khan, Atlee, and the Jawan Team for Addressing the 2017 Gorakhpur Tragedy.

Dr Kafeel Khan assumes he was the inspiration behind one of the issues raised in Shah Rukh Khan’s new film Jawan. He has now written a letter to the Bollywood star and shown his appreciation to the actor for highlighting the subject.

Sanya Malhotra plays a doctor in Jawan who is falsely blamed for the death of several kids at a hospital when the real culprit was corruption and lack of prompt facilities. Many fans believe her character was loosely based on Dr Kafeel Khan. Despite the doctor’s efforts to procure sufficient oxygen supply for the hospital, 63 kids died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in 2017 and the Uttar Pradesh government later got him jailed for negligence in his duty.

Dr Kafeel Khan’s letter to Shah Rukh Khan

In his letter addressed to ‘honourable actor and film producer Shah Rukh Khan’, Dr Kafeel wrote that he watched Jawan and “felt compelled to convey my deep appreciation for your extraordinary commitment to using cinema as a means to address critical socio-political issues.” He added, “The movie’s poignant portrayal of the tragic Gorakhpur Encephalitis incident has left an indelible mark on my heart. As someone who has had a personal connection with the incident and its aftermath, I was profoundly moved by your decision to bring this story to the screen.

“While I understand that Jawan is a work of fiction, the parallels it draws to the Gorakhpur tragedy serve as a powerful reminder of the systemic failures, apathy, and, most importantly, the innocent lives lost. It underscores the urgent need for accountability within our healthcare system. The character portrayed by @sanyamalhotra07 (as Dr Eeram Khan ) although not directly referencing me, encapsulated the experiences I faced. It was heartening to witness the real culprit of ‘The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy’ got caught, though sadly in real life the real culprits are roaming free, me still struggling to get my job back, and those 63 parents who lost their little ones still waiting for justice.”

He also talked about his own book The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy that provides ‘a comprehensive first-hand account of the tragedy and its aftermath’. He also said he’d be honoured to meet Shah Rukh Khan and Atlee, if given the opportunity and would like to express his gratitude personally. “I also want to assure you that my sanctification, devotion, and determination towards serving my countrymen would continue undeterred. Thank you once again for being a beacon of hope. I look forward to your kind reply,” he concluded.

Dr Kafeel sent a handwritten letter to Shah Rukh but it remained undelivered and he decided to put it on social media. Posting the pictures of the letter, he wrote, “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to obtain your email address, @iamsrk sir. Consequently, I sent the letter by post, but that also showing in transit even after many days. Therefore posting it here.”

Dr Kafeel Khan thanked SRK

Before watching the film, Dr Kafeel Khan posted his appreciation of the film. He had thanked Shah Rukh Khan and Atlee for featuring the 2017 Gorakhpur tragedy.

Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service.