Lal Ded: Decapitated, Admitted
…a Zareef satire on anemic State of State’s Health
DR. JAVID IQBAL
‘Taran-garee’ is making rounds in Srinagar, ever since the poetic satire of Zareef Ahmad Zareef was launched in Kashmir University’s Ibn-Khaldun auditorium…a facility provided by Allama Iqbal Library, much in use for literary activities. ‘Taran-garee’ may suffer for use of an appropriate word in translation; however ‘taking for a ride’ might fit the bill. It would need a column, a separate one for an exposé of ‘Taran-gari’ I may however refer to a satirical couplet on state’s health, it reads:
Gach Vech Piyavaal Haspataal
Moath Divaan Zuuvokh Sawal
Lal Dad Pemich Chae Bistaree
It could be read as:
Dare ye visit the maternity hospital?
Where the death yearns to live
Lal Ded decapitated is admitted
Taken for a ride, Taken for a ride
The satire visualizes Lal Ded, whose name the maternity hospital (Piyavaal Haspataal) carries decapitated, hence admitted (Lal Dad Pemits Chae Bistaree) where the death yearns to live (Moath Divaan Zuuvokh Sawal). The satire in essence conveys that the spirit of Lal Ded feels tortured by the anemic state of maternity services which carry her name, but not the beauty of her spirit and selfless service.
On one occasion, an occasion I vividly remember, a medical college mate…a gynecologist working in Britain happened to visit Lal Ded hospital with me as the companion. She had married a British Kashmiri doctor, her batch-mate. The lady otherwise a genial person swore that though becoming a mother is her ardent wish, she would prefer not to be one, were her delivery to be conducted in an as abysmal and primitive state as exists in Lal-Ded. In a jest, I asked…how you ever been told of the condition you were born in? Well, replied the lady, times have changed; don’t we need to change too? An answer highly relevant, the very next moment, she became reflective. A question followed…don’t you think it has been named Lal-Ded to denote the physical conditioning of the times of Lal-Ded? Taken aback, I said, well vis-à-vis the physical condition you might be right, it doesn’t however reflect the spirit of Lal-Ded. Lal-Ded, I added, was spiritually as sparkling as a pearl; in her sparkle shines the soul of Kashmir, the soul which is as white as the white of her mountains.
Those in my profession…medicine, the ones who have served abroad may stand witness to the shining cleanliness and optimum hygienic conditions of the hospitals they have worked in. Even here in state’s summer capital, there are health care institutes of relative relief. Apart from private nursing homes, SKIMS has relatively acceptable norms as far as cleanliness and hygiene go, as well as acceptable professional standards. Unfortunate it may sound, the fact however stands where the highest obtainable standards are required…the maternity and the child care, we have hit the rock bottom. However even in such abysmal conditions, doctors and medical personnel do deliver. The lacunas could mostly be attributed to failure in planning and low budget for health sector.
The average citizen is as much responsible as the errant official. Question needs to be asked…how does the citizenry expect maintenance of even the elementary hygienic conditions in a hospital setting when relatives, friends, acquaintances make a bee-line to fulfill the so called social obligation of visiting the sick. Moreover the family of the sick feel socially obliged to serve tea to all and sundry obliging the sick with the visit. The hospital staff may be accused of keeping the hospital untidy, however hardly if ever it is realized that the workload is two to three times more than what it would be in a society where the citizens realize that they serve the patient better by registering their name in the visitors register or by a telephone call.
Much in recent days has been made of lacunas in the manner of working of medical personnel…the way doctors work, the approach of nurses who implement what the doctor’s order. I am not here to defend my fellow professionals for no apparent reason. While our doctors do not lack anything in capability and acumen, the failure is systematic. How come a doctor from the valley makes a noticeable impact within the shortest possible time, a happening repeated umpteen times during my three decades abroad, while the same doctor gets accused of sloth in the valley’s health setup? Many colleagues complain of piling frustration, as the tools of work are shorter than expected or whatever is available is in a bad state. The vital upkeep is missing.
It may be noted that a flood of damning reports might un-nerve medicos. There has to be accountability, no doubt about that, however, doctors and nurses have jobs available worldwide and they are apt to look for greener pastures, given the hostile societal attitudes. Rather than damning reports of commissions and media lynching, it would be prudent for civil society to hold interactive sessions with medicos to streamline medical services.
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi (Reunion is subordinate to survival)
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Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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