NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said sympathies of the entire nation were with the families who lost their children at a state-run hospital in Uttar Pradesh, and asserted that the Centre would leave no stone unturned to extend help to them.
Delivering his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, Modi said natural calamities posed a huge challenge but assured that the government would extend all help to the people in their time of distress with utmost "sensitivity".
"Sometimes, natural calamities become a very big challenge. Good rains contribute hugely to the prosperity of a nation. But due to climate change, sometimes, these natural calamities bring distress.
"A few days back, in many parts of the country, natural disasters took place. A few days back, at a hospital, our innocent children died. In this entire time of distress and sadness, sympathies of 125 crore people of the country are with them," he said.
Nearly 70 children, including infants, have died at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur since August 7. Many of these deaths were alleged to have been caused by shortage of oxygen, a claim dismissed by the state government.
The state government has ordered an inquiry by the chief secretary and suspended the principal of the hospital, Rajiv Mishra.
"I assure my countrymen, during this time of distress, with utmost sensitivity, for the betterment and security of people, we will leave no stone unturned to extend help," Modi said.
He also tweeted, "People of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected due to natural disasters & the tragedy in Gorakhpur."
The Prime Minister's Office had earlier said that Modi was constantly monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur and was in touch with central and state authorities.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said exemplary action will be taken against those found responsible for the tragedy.