Srinagar: Inside an operation theater of Poonch district hospital, 22-year-old Tasleem was groaning with pain. A nine-month pregnant, she was in full-blown labour when she was brought to the hospital.
Doctors attending to her found that she had low hemoglobin and needed a blood transfusion before surgery. Sensing urgency, doctors asked her attendants to arrange two units of blood so that they could operate on her. However, they ran away and called up local NGO for blood donation. Since the organization too did not have a blood reserve, they called up Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) District Armed Reserve (DAR) Sachin Gupta for help.
Gupta immediately rushed to the hospital and donated blood and saved three lives including newborn twins. “The hemoglobin count of the lady was six grams. She needed blood and one of my friends called up from Poonch. I thought by the time I will ask my men to donate blood, I should do it myself. My blood group is B positive which luckily matched with the lady. It is a normal thing and nothing extraordinary,” Gupta told The Kashmir Monitor.
In the time of COVID, people are scared even to tend to the patients not to talk of donating blood. Plus, the people in the area live with inhibitions that blood donation can make them weak. That is why attendants are not forthcoming in donating blood to save lives.
“We asked attendants to donate blood. Instead of volunteering, they approached an NGO. Luckily DySP volunteered and donated blood. We operated upon her and she delivered twins (boy and a girl). All the three are hale and hearty,” said Dr. Mushtaq Jaffri, Medical Superintendent of Government District Hospital, Poonch.
This is not an isolated case of communal harmony.
A 42-year-old Muslim ambulance driver of Government District Hospital, Poonch, won hearts after he performed the last rites of a COVID positive Hindu woman who was abandoned by the locals.
Since she had no attendant with her, she was kept in the hospital morgue. Nobody was ready to touch the body not to speak of cremating her.
Mir Ahmad, a local ambulance driver, volunteered to cremate her with dignity. He took her to the crematorium and lit the pyre as per Hindu traditions.
“She was a lonely lady who died of COVID. Everyone was scared. No one came forward to perform her last rites. I took it upon myself to ensure that the dignity of the dead is maintained. I took her to the crematorium, arranged firewood, and lit the pyre,” he said.
In fact, Mir has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID in the Poonch district. Last year, he was tested positive while discharging his duties. Such is his dedication that he resumed duty on the same day when he was tested negative. “We are Muslims and we have been taught to be humane,” he said.