Kolkata, Aug 24 (IANS): Lamenting that the country's poor are ignored when it comes to advanced treatment, writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar Saturday said concerned government agencies should aim at providing "healthier and cleaner cities" to citizens.
"Health is not on the list of priority for the powers that be.. anywhere.. and it is understandable in a way..in a cynical, ruthless way because we have five star hospitals.. so getting good treatment is not a problem for the privileged.
"It is the problem of the downtrodden.. it is the problem of the under-privileged," Akhtar said during a fund-raiser organised by the Tata Medical Centre and Taj Bengal here.
"They (the poor) are not very important to certain people...and that is why health for the poor have never been the concern for the powers that be," he said.
Lauding the efforts of the Tata Medical Centre-Cancer Centre that reserves 50 percent beds for the underprivileged, he said factors like environmental pollution make it difficult in fighting cancer.
"Doctors, scientists, NGOs are fighting the disease but an average person is getting polluted air, polluted water and atmosphere and obviously with all these it becomes more difficult to control a disease," said Akhtar.
"The government agencies concerned should realise that it is their responsibility to provide cleaner, healthier, hygienic cities to the citizens of our country..I don't know how this can be done but is important," he added.