ESTABLISHMENT OF KALPANA CHAWLA MEDICAL COLLEGE IN KARNAL
Karnal is said to have been founded by the Kauravas in the Mahabharata era for the king Karna, a mythological her and a key figure in the epic tale. It is midway between Delhi and Chandigarh, being 123 km north of Delhi and 126 km south of Chandigarh, on the National Highway NH-1. The land of Karnal was blessed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the 1st Sikh Guru, great muslim saint Kalandar Sahib and many other prominent saints of this region. First Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was born in Karnal. Late Dr. Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-American scientist and NASA astronaut, was also born in Karnal. On her sudden demise in Colombia Explosion, the then Union Minister of India for Health Dr. C. P. Thakur announced to set up a medical college in her memory at her birth place. But with the passage of time, this announcement became a mere political gimmick and every political party tried to derive political mileage from the name of Kalpana Chawla in this constituency by raking up the issues of establishing a medical college in her memory.
In spite of the fact that residents of Karnal were forced to take their seriously ill either to the PGI in Chandigarh or the AIIMS in New Delhi, both at a distance of about 130 Kilometer the government had exhibited an apathetic attitude towards this long pending genuine demand of people of Karnal.
During the last assembly election in Haryana state NIFAA Chairman Pritpal Singh Pannu took a pledge to complete this genuine task by adopting democratic ways of protest and invite all civic society organizations to be part of this movement. With the support from more than 100 organizations and schools NIFAA formed "Kalpana Chawla Medical College Nirman Sangrash committee" started hunger strike in front of Civil Secretariat during the period of nominations from assembly elections. By inviting nominees of all the political parties to their protest venue, committee took their written commitment for the medical college.
In the second phase more than 30,000 schoolchildren and citizens joined hands and formed a 36.4-km-long human chain to raise the demand for Kalpana Chawla medical college along with a signature campaign.
After its signature campaign, wherein five lakh people signed, and formation of 36.4-km long human chain to press the state and UPA governments to set up Kalpana Chawla Medical College in Karnal, the KC Medical College Nirman Sangharsh Committee has decided to launch a postcard campaign to intensify its peaceful agitation.
The committee gave a call to people to post 1,000 postcards daily from December 5 onwards to chairperson of the UPA Sonia Gandhi in support of their demand. This IIIrd phase of the agitation yield positive results and Chief Minister of Haryana Sh. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, accepted this demand during his Republic Day address and work is under progress for setting up the Kalpana Chawla Medical College.
Although NIFAA is continuously and actively engaged in the overall development of this area, but Kalpana Chawla Medical College is a mega project which NIFAA could achieve through democratic means.