Umaisar Gull Ganaie
SRINAGAR, Feb 1: Highlighting the official apathy and the grim infrastructural scene in rural areas of Kashmir, a woman suffering from labour pain had to be carried on shoulders to the hospital covering a distance of 12 kilometers from her home.
Mevish Jan, a resident of village Dingowari Manzmoh of Qazigund Tehsil in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district developed labour pain on Friday morning. Her family members called the helpline number 108 for ambulance services repeatedly but to no avail.
As the ambulance could not reach her home, her relatives decided to carry her in a makeshift cradle to the National Highway travelling around six kilometers from the village.
On reaching the National Highway, the family members of the pregnant lady said that they again called the ambulances services, dialing 108, but there was no response from the hospital.
Later, the family members of the pregnant woman who was suffering from acute pain decided to continue their journey on foot. They carried the patient on their shoulders traveling another six kilometers to reach the hospital.
Mudasir Ahmad Padder, a local resident censured the administration for not clearing snow from the arterial roads of their village which according to him was one of the reasons that the ambulance could not be deputed to their village.
“These incidents illustrate how our authorities have failed to provide basic facilities to people in remote parts of our district. Citizens who face medical emergencies have no other option but to carry their patients on their shoulders or in palanquins like bundles of hay,” the family members remarked in a sarcastic tone.
Later, the woman was admitted to the Emergency Hospital Qazigund and her condition is stated to be stable, the members of the family informed.
Passing the buck, the BMO Qazigund, Dr Zahoor Ahmad told Kashmir Despatch: “I never received a call from any such patient. Yes we ferried some patients from different places today but I don’t know anything about this patient.”
Dr Mohammad Rafiq Dhobi, Medical Superintendent Emergency Hospital Qazigund, when contacted by Kashmir Despatch, said: “Yes the patient about whom you are talking has been admitted in this hospital but I don’t know anything about their complaint regarding ambulance service.”
The CMO Kulgam, Dr Fazil Ali Kochak, told Kashmir Despatch, “I have received this complaint but the helpline number which you have mentioned (108) is not functional in Kashmir. I have asked the BMO concerned to seek an explanation from concerned Asha worker as to why she didn’t inform the hospital or BMO’s office?”
However, the family members absolved Asha worker of any lapse saying that they were not able to contact her in the morning.
Asked about cut-off and snow bound arterial roads of Qazigund, the ADC Kulgam, Ghulam Hassan Sheikh assured Kashmir Despatch that administration will expedite the snow clearance in the cut-off areas and will ensure smooth traffic at such places.