Meet the nurse who walked 40 kms to report for duty

Meet the nurse who walked 40 kms to report for duty

Braving odds, fellow caretaker too makes it to hospital ‘to save lives’

On Sunday, when reports of casualties in the wake of protests and clashes in Kashmir areas spread, Firdousa Rashid and Firdousa Rashid—both nurses at Srinagar’s general specialty SMHS Hospital—set on foot to report for duty.

While one Firdousa is a resident of Tangmarg in north Kashmir, the other lives in nearby Magam area. “I left home at 7.45 am and reached the hospital at 2.15 pm,” said Firdousa from Tangmarg, quickly adding: “I had to report for duty.”

“I knew there was less staff in the hospital. Duty was important as my job involves saving lives in Surgical ICU of the SMHS hospital,” she told Greater Kashmir on Monday.

“What is the use of ICU if there is no nurse there?” she added.

Firdousa said she walked all the way to Magam where an ambulance picked her up for a couple of kilometers. “Then I walked again,” she said.

Asked how she feels about this long journey on foot amidst tense situation in the area, she said: “I should have left earlier to reach earlier.” Firdousa from Magam was stopped by her family from going outside her home. “They said I was risking my life, but I paid no heed to the discouragement and carried on,” she said.

On way to the hospital, she said, scores of protestors asked her why she was out on road. “How many people could I answer? I just kept going on till I reached here,” she said.

For her, the motivation to come to hospital was to ‘relieve’ other nurses who had been on job for two days at a stretch. “They could not have carried on more. We had to give them respite,” Firdousa said.

Principal Government Medical College Srinagar Dr Kaiser Ahmad said there were many employees in the hospital who had risked their lives and arrived to save other people’s lives.

 “Many of our doctors’ vehicles were attacked. Many of our technicians faced difficulties. But you can see, everyone made it to the hospital somehow,” he said. He said the spirit of service and the agony of masses injured in the past few days have kept the hospital “on toes.” “These are our own people. All we need is that they let us reach hospital safely to cater to the hundreds who are in need of treatment,” he said.