Screengrab from the video in which a family was seen carrying the body of a pregnant lady who died in Anantnag hospital on Sunday

Muneeb Afzal

What makes humans unique, eminent, and noblest of all creations? The basic principles underlying human society is cooperation, interdependence and understanding with fellow human beings. Mutual respect, sympathy, empathy are the values which define our relationship with each other. These principles hold us together and in the absence of these, we cease to be humans and the basic purpose of social organization is defeated.

While the world battles an invisible enemy, stories are coming from across the globe where humans have demonstrated a tremendous potential of compassion, love and sacrifice for fellow human beings. In Italy, for example, more than 100 doctors have laid their lives fighting desperately to save others. One Dr J.P Yadav dies in an accident in Delhi while coming from a hospital on bicycle as his car had developed a snag. The discomfort of riding on a bicycle did not prevent him from doing his job .Apart from the front warriors, there are hundreds of other unsung heroes in this war against the coronavirus pandemic. Government and hundreds of other nongovernmental organizations are contributing in their own way to help those affected by the pandemic.

But far away from all this, Anantnag in south Kashmir has a different story to tell. Within 10 days, two pregnant ladies along with three unborn babies have fallen victim to the alleged medical negligence of doctors. This has triggered anger and hue and cry among the residents. Early morning of May 3, Shakeela, wife of Zahoor Ahmad breathed her last at Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) Anantnag. A family member alleged that the doctors did not attend her while she was going through pain. He further added that they suggested the family to shift the deceased from Sub District Hospital Seer where she was earlier admitted to MCCH Anantnag even when they had already spent hours together at SDH Seer. The incident happened week after another pregnant woman died along with her unborn twins at MCCH Anantnag. The woman was allegedly denied swift treatment.

After these tragic incidents, doctors along with district administration have come under severe criticism. On social media, people are denouncing the alleged negligence of doctors and inability of district administration to prevent such incidents from happening. They are questioning the efficiency of district administration. And why shall we not question?

How long will this continue to happen? When our mothers die tragic deaths, it stimulates our conscience and prompts us to raise questions and demand justice. We cannot afford to be mute spectators when the life of a mother is cut short in such a terrible manner. Silence will only deepen the problem. Being a human and a responsible citizen demands a kind of commitment to call for justice, accountability and transparency.

The pain is severe and the loss is irreparable but the lessons are numerous. To ensure such incidents do not happen in future, it is indispensable that those responsible for it must be brought to justice. A transparent and speedy enquiry must be ensured to locate the causes behind the deaths. District administration must be more responsive and dynamic. It must address the concerns of people surrounding it. The responsibilities must be carried out in line with the aspirations of people of the district. A robust and dynamic administration must be established to ensure that everybody in the district is compelled to be disciplined in doing his job and executing responsibilities.   

Doctors who are our front warriors today must honour and strengthen the trust which people have reposed in them. Their profession is noble and they must elevate it to newer heights. In times of despair and distress, they serve as a real hope for us. This relationship of hope and trust must be respected from both sides.

Author is pursuing graduation at Government Degree College Bijbehara. Can be contacted at [email protected]

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