She had been a soldier in the fight against a crippling disease. Now, she herself is battling injuries that threaten to leave her immobile for life at a Delhi hospital.
It was just another day at work for Kamlesh — an Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife (ANM). She was in Bhalaswa Dairy JJ Colony area, administering pulse polio drops to kids. She had been going from door to door making enquiries about the children who need to be fed the drops.
At one such house, while she was administering drops to a kid on Monday, a piece of concrete hanging precariously over her head, collapsed on the 39-year-old resident of Timarpur.
The heavy concrete slab damaged her spine and Kamlesh suffered serious wounds in the neck and head, as she fell on the ground.
“As luck would have it, the kid and her mother escaped unhurt. But Kamlesh suffered serious injuries. She did not get time to respond and was bleeding profusely when she was rushed to the Lok Nayak hospital,” Mohan, Kamlesh’s husband said.
She has been kept at the ICU of the hospital and is on ventilator support. Doctors attending on her described Kamlesh’s condition as critical.
“She has suffered a spine fracture and is critical. She has been kept in the ICU and is on ventilator support. As of now, it is difficult to say anything but we are hoping that she responds to the treatment,” said Richa Diwan, medical superintendent, LNJP.
Kamlesh was working with the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Her colleagues have written about the incident to the ministry, saying that the ministry should bear all treatment expenses. They also urged the ministry to grant special leave to her.
“We want that the health department to at least provide free treatment to her. She was on duty when the incident occurred. Till now, we have not got any support from the department,” said VS Dahiya, president, Delhi Health Employees Union.
The ministry, however, has assured that Kamlesh will be provided free treatment.
“She is serious and cannot be operated upon. But, she will definitely be given the best services and won’t be charged for the treatment. She is our employee and we will take good care of her,” said Anshu Prakash, principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Delhi government.