Srinagar: A snub by the administration has not disheartened Athrout as the Srinagar-based NGO has procured 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to be distributed among doctors and other frontline workers in Kashmir in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
The NGO has also delivered the much-needed ventilators to SKIMS Soura, the same ones returned, for reasons untold, within 24 hours on April 6 by an associated hospital of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.
On April 5, Athrout had delivered six ventilators to Chest Diseases hospital, which is one of the tertiary care institutes treating COVID-19 patients and suspected cases in Kashmir.
A day later, the hospital returned the ventilators following verbal directions from the authorities.
“We have delivered the same ventilators to SKIMS Soura,” Bashir Nadwi, chairman Athrout told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said they were also receiving a consignment of 10,000 PPE kits on Tuesday. The kits, he said, will be delivered among the doctors, paramedical staff, and other people working on the ground.
“We are expecting the kits to reach us today. They are coming from Coimbatore,” he said.
Director SKIMS Dr A G Ahanger confirmed receiving the ventilators.
Bashir refused to comment on the reasons behind them being returned by CD hospital in the first place.
An official source, however, said the administration was “not happy” because of a story an English news channel carried “projecting how hospitals in Srinagar were struggling due to lack of equipment and had to take help from NGOs.”
On April 11, J&K High Court directed Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department to ascertain the circumstances in which the offer of the NGO was refused and to file a report in the matter.
The NGOs’ in Srinagar are working amid stricter regulations recently put in place by the administration.
The regulations were enforced even more stringently after a fake news of a person working with an NGO contracting the virus went viral on social media.
The fake story was even picked up by Srinagar administration which projected it as ‘this-is-why’ moment on Twitter to enforce the regulations on the work humanitarian organisations carry out.
Later, the district administration accepted the version of the family who explained how the person claimed as a “member of an NGO who was distributing masks” had no connections with any humanitarian organisation at all.