Srinagar: Hundreds of people are making a beeline to the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) to check on Manpreet Kaur (name changed).
Everyone offers to help irrespective of his or her financial status. Kaur politely thanks everyone and prays for their wellbeing as her husband takes turns to see them off. “Kashmir saved my life,” she exclaimed.
Hailing from Punjab, Kaur suffered a massive cardiac arrest on January 29 at Qazigund. She was immediately rushed to SKIMS for treatment. With no insurance or golden card, she was left to fend for herself given her precarious financial condition.
Sensing her problem, doctors and locals pooled money to fund her initial treatment. “We were staying in Qazigund and all of a sudden my wife started trembling and sweating. Local doctors advised us to shift her to SKIMS for advanced treatment. I had left hope of my wife’s survival. We had no money. Doctors pooled money and gave me Rs 2000 for medicine. They said that they will bear the entire expenses if no one comes forward,” said J.Singh, her husband, who works as a daily wager.
Since her treatment was expensive, Athrout, a local charity, took up the responsibility to meet her treatment cost. “The patient did not have any resources or a golden card. She was in dire need of financial help. Under the `One Time Medical Assistance Program’ (OTM), we helped the family. She is now responding well to the treatment,” said Arif Ahmad, media coordinator at Athrout.
The charity has given her enough money to meet the treatment cost and return home. “We offered her Rs 25000 as medical expenses. She can also travel back to Amritsar. Our NGO is not just confined to Kashmir, we provide assistance to everyone irrespective of his religion and geography,” Arif said.
A doctor treating Kaur said she is responded well to the treatment and could be discharged soon. “She is doing well and has shown good signs of recovery. We will discharge her soon,” he said.