12/07/2016 5:43 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

A Nurse Walked 40 Kms To Reach Hospital In Curfew-Hit Kashmir

True grit.

Fayaz Kabli / Reuters
Image used for representational purposes only.

At the moment, hope, is not exactly in abundance in Kashmir. The stories that come out of the strife-torn valley mostly talk about violence, death and crippling hatred. Nearly 1500 people have been reported to be injured with the number steadily spiralling. The ripples of this resounding clash between law enforcing agencies and civilians are being felt in the hospitals in the valley. Apart from overcrowding, the understaffed hospitals are having to perform major surgeries to treat bullet and pellet wounds constantly. The curfew situation adds to the valley residents' woes making access and safe passage to medical facilities a trial.

The Tribune reports: "At associated hospitals of the Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, routine admissions and surgeries have been cancelled to accommodate the youths injured in action by police and paramilitary forces across Kashmir."

Reports of ambulances being attacked and roads being blocked also trickled in.

However, amidst stories of violence, this story of grit and commitment, brings a smile to your face. In an exclusive, the Greater Kashmir reported that a nurse employed with general specialty SMHS Hospital in Srinagar, walked 40 kilometres to get to work.

SMHS hospital took the worst hit during the emergency with several people succumbing to their injuries in the crowded hospital, despite receiving treatment. Five critical surgeries were being conducted by the hospital simultaneously at any given time, reported Greater Kashmir.

The paper reported on July 10: "As per authorities, over 64 people were admitted at SMHS Hospital. Doctors said 45 injured had bullet wounds in abdomen, limbs and chest. Others had pellet injuries in face, abdomen and limbs."

Understandably, even with all its staff in attendance 24x7, the Srinagar hospital would be struggling to attend to the rush of patients.

Firdousa Rashid, a resident of Tangmarg in north Kashmir, walked 40 kilometres for several hours to make sure she reached work. With the curfew on, public transport had taken a hit.

"I knew there was less staff in the hospital. Duty was important as my job involves saving lives in Surgical ICU of the SMHS hospital. What is the use of ICU if there is no nurse there?," Rashid told Greater Kashmir.

Rashid said she left home at 7.45 in the morning and reached the hospital at 2.45 pm. She first walked from Tangmarg to Magam, a distance of roughly 20 kilometres. Following that, she flagged down an ambulance passing by, which took her a few more kilometres ahead and then to reach the hospital, she walked another 15-20 kilometres.

Rashid said that she had to get to the hospital because some other nurses had been working for two days at a stretch, with hardly any break.