GOVT LEAVES TRAPPED ATTENDANTS IN LURCH
Srinagar, Oct 1: As if putting hospitalized patients on “crash diet” wasn’t enough, the government has failed to provide any relief to the attendants, scores of whom have been left to fend for themselves amid continued curfews and other restrictions during the past four months of ongoing unrest.
Had the local civilian population not come to the rescue of the attendants by providing them food and water, many of them could have died of starvation.
PLIGHT OF THOUSANDS
On September 13, when her brother was wounded in firing allegedly by police at Humhama, Halima (name changed) along with others rushed the injured to hospital. Finding her brother in a pool of blood, she couldn’t get time to go home and bring along some cash as they rushed to the hospital.
Strict curfew continued for 10 odd days but the government didn’t bother to provide food to the attendants stuck in the hospitals.
Had the locals living close to the hospital not come to their rescue, Halima and others could have faced starvation.
Ghulam Ahmed and Gulzar Ahmed (names changed) brought their brother to Srinagar from Tral when he was wounded in firing.
The packed food given by a local relief committee at SMHS hospital was the only source of respite for the duo.
Halima and brothers from Tral aren’t the only ones who went helpless at hospitals during the unrest.
With around 2000 wounded having been rushed to Srinagar based hospitals from across the Valley, the number of such attendants is presumed to be much larger.
Conservative figures suggest that 7000 odd attendants must have faced the crisis as their nears and dears where battling for life.
“Anybody hurt in police or paramilitary action isn’t expected to come alone or with a single attendant but such cases are accompanied by at least around half a dozen attendants,” explained a doctor at SMHS Hospital in Karan Nagar.
According to official figures, since June, the City hospitals have received over 1500 cases of firearm injures, mainly due to bullets, pellets and teargas shells. Besides, some 500 people have been injured in incidents of lathi-charge and ‘crowd control’ across the Valley.
The tertiary care hospital, SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura here, has alone recorded about 700 injuries while the SMHS hospital recorded about 400 firearm injuries. Valley’s sole orthopedic hospital, the Bone and Joints Hospital Barzulla nursed around 300 cases, 150 of whom where firearm injuries.
RELIEF FROM BRETHREN
Since June 11, the civil society has been providing relief to the attendants. From B&J Barzulla to SMHS, one could find the locals feeding the attendants.
As for the relief camp feeding the SMHS attendants, organization run by a local Masjid Intizaamiya has been active for over 100 days.
A group of locals from Karan Nagar and the Masjid Imam got the food prepared and ferried it to the hospital.
During the Holy month of Ramazan, the organization served packed food.
Interestingly, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asgar Samoon appreciated the civilian initiative.
“I want to put a word of appreciation on record for such relief organizations. They have done a commendable job,” he told Greater Kashmir.
Principal Government Medical College, Dr Shahida Mir said the GMC run hospitals “were trying their best to provide food to at least one of the attendants.”
But her statement holds little weight in the wake of government diktat which prohibits the hospitals to feed anybody other than patients having a Below Poverty Line card.
The Divisional Commissioner, on the other hand, admitted that the attendants “must have faced inconvenience”.
“It’s very important issue and needs to be looked into seriously,” he said.
Samoon said his administration had tried to provide relief. “But the people didn’t accept the government relief,” he said.
But as the situation declines to get back to normalcy, the Div Com said he would seek suggestions from the civil society to rise to the occasion.
“Rather than forcing them to get free packets we need to have options for them to get food of their choice,” Samoon added.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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