After allegedly being refused admission into the hospital by doctors, a woman was forced to deliver her baby on the road in Kashmir. Doctors at the only maternity hospital in Srinagar, Lal Ded, allegedly refused to admit her, and shut the door on her face calling her “gujjar happat” (backward bear), claimed the family.
On January 17, Suraya Begum, a 35-year-old complained of severe pain – supposedly labour – as she was in the 9th month of her pregnancy. Her house, located in a remote village, Mooree, an area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, was under seven feet of snow.
Her elder brother, Hami Zaman Khan, asked people from the mosque for help, as there was no transport available in the area due to snow. Around 15 people carried Suraya on a charpoy. At around 11 am, they reached the sub district hospital at Kalaroos where doctors referred her to the Kupwara hospital, said Suraya.
After reaching Kupwara hospital in an ambulance provided by Kalaroos hospital, doctors examined Suraya via ultrasonography, and reportedly asked them to take her to Lal Ded. They finally reached Lal Ded hospital at around 2 pm, where she was kept under observation. However, Suraya’s family claims that the hospital refused to admit her. Around 6 pm, the doctor in-charge allegedly told them there was nothing to worry about, and asked them to come back on next Thursday.
“I had asked my sister to accompany Suraya, so that she could explain to the doctor about her condition and pain she was in,” said Zaman.
Noor Jaha Begum informed her brother Zaman about what the doctor had told her. He asked her to tell the doctor that it was impossible for them to go back, and asked if Suraya could be kept in the hospital for the night.
“Once they went inside, doctors shouted at Suraya and Jaha, and asked them go and sit in the washroom and pushed her away from the room by saying “Samaj nei aata gujjar happat logo”,” Zaman told Newsclick.
Hopeless Suraya and Zaman hired an auto rickshaw, and thought of renting a room in Bemina, an area of Srinagar. Almost as soon as they reached near the mosque at Nudresh Colony, Bemina, Suraya was reportedly in pain again, and delivered a baby girl on the road at about 8:30 pm. The baby died immediately, according to Zaman. The temperature recorded on Thursday was minus 0.7.
Zaman further told Newsclick that doctors behaved in an inhumane way, which resulted in the death of her baby.
President of Gujjar and Bakarwal Youth Conference Zahid Parwaz said that shutting the doors of a hospital on a patient who is from far-flung area reflects badly on our society. “We demand immediate termination of the doctor who is responsible for this gruesome act. We will keep protesting if justice is denied to Suraya’s infant,” Parwaz said.