24 hours of horror at the Kamla Nehru Hospital (Lady reading Shimla)
A guy sent his story to HW along with some image he took at the Kamla KNH ( Lady Reading Shimla) during the 24 hours he spent with his wife and the newborn.
On August 24 this year, in quite a anxious state of mind, I was sitting outside the labor room of the Kamla Nehru Hospital in Shimla, wondering over the large number of deliveries being announced after the short intervals of 10-15 minutes. Among those announcements, I was expecting the news of my wife who was inside. The area outside the labor room was crowded and overlapping whispers can be heard, and if you pay attention, some of them could be understood clearly. Many fathers were waiting for the news which probably could bring smile to their faces or tears in their eyes or maybe both.
Finally, after a wait of a couple of hours, the good news came from inside that I have become a father of a girl child. Although , I am an advocate and a open minded person, who doesn’t differentiate on the basis of gender and was happy with the news, but somewhere, I experienced the distress as the elder members of both families, parents as well as in laws, were expecting me to deliver a boy child. Luckily, the expectations were not so rigid and the new member was welcomed. While I had become a happy father, my wife suffered for almost over 8 hours due to the unavailability of a special ward and even a bed in the general ward. Therefore, I had to wait all these hours. Near midnight, I noticed attendants sleeping on the floor. Out of curiosity, I just visited the upper floor and lower floor of the labor room. The number of attendants and even patients were lying on the floor, in an attempt to pass the night. Well, but that’s a common scene at government hospitals, so no one ever bothers. I clicked some photographs as I couldn’t help them with anything else and moved on.
The attendants are cautioned to enter the labor room or go near to the newborns after ensuring appropriate hygiene measures. However, a dog seems to have found an opportunity to enter the special ward corridor in the absence of the guard. The unsanitary conditions are the trademark of the government hospitals in India and KNH also don’t miss it.
What had worsened my anxiety was the picture I had seen on HW a few days ago – a guard preparing injection in the children’s ward.
Finally, when the mother and the newborn were shifted to the general ward after midnight, I found some relief and a chance to see the mother and the baby.Unfortunately, the moment of relief turned out to be short lived when we entered the general ward. The scene inside the ward was startling – some of the mothers were sitting on the floor with the newborns, while all the remaining were forced to share the bed. The ward was overcrowded and moreover, it was highly inconvenient for the mothers to adjust on a single bed with their newborns.
I took some pictures with an intention to send them to the principle IGMC and to the state health department, believing it would bother them and possibly, the need of increasing the capacity of the Hospital would be considered. However, the next day, I gained my senses, came out of the emotional flux that I experienced after the pathetic scenes I witnessed during 24 hours and told myself that it’s not about a single day. Rather, every day many mothers and babies face the same problem in the biggest and premier hospitals of the Himachal. I was regretting the decision to bring my wife to a government hospital instead of spending a few thousand bucks at some private hospital where my wife could have, at least, got a bed. These 24 hours were the worst period of time I ever faced.
There must be many who go through the same experience and still don’t dare to speak. I don’t expect the government to bother about it. It’s not a big worry for the bureaucrats, ministers, and those who can afford private Health services, but for the poor, there is no option. Moreover, our ministers, sedulous politicians are busy in the scams and protest in the parliament. So what if they wasted crores of rupees in a few days at the parliament. After all, they are the VIPs and the public is an unnecessary responsibility.
The images and the published incident is originally written and sent to HW by one of our readers based on his personal experience
HW has sent a copy to the principal IGMC and State Health Department and waiting for the response.
What’s Your Story?
Life is itself a mysterious and unpredictable story and everyday while we leave our homes for routine jobs, numerous thoughts pop-up in our minds – some thoughts provoked by incidents we witness, others when we face an inconvenient situation, a few arise from the discussions, gossips, interactions, something we read in a book, magazine or newspaper, TV etc. Don’t bury them into your unconscious storage, rather share your story with HW, so that we could share it with the rest of the world – stories of suffering, pain, unusual experiences, religion, humor or anything that you feel relates you to the society, state, nation, all mankind, nature that you think the alike minded people would love to read.