Gandhigiri seems to be the flavour of the season. Taking a leaf out of the blockbuster Lage Raho Munnabhai, the Resident Doctors’ Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Wednesday greeted Health Minster Dr Anbumani Ramadoss with the spirit of Gandhigiri instead of their usual hostility. The minister was visiting the institute to meet patients suffering from dengue.
During Ramadoss’ visit to the new private ward, recently allotted for dengue patients, a group of resident doctors presented him with a bouquet of red roses and a card that read ‘Ramadoss, get well soon’.
“The minister accepted the flowers, read the card, smiled and moved on to meet the patients. But we did manage to successfully communicate our protest in Gandhian fashion,” Anil Sharma, a member of the RDA, told the Hindustan Times. Sharma said the resident doctors were protesting as the “government had not lent a timely hand to AIIMS in its ongoing fight against dengue”.
The idea of the protest was mooted at a late-night meeting of the core group of the RDA on Tuesday. “To avoid any inconvenience to the patients, we decided to protest with Gandhigiri so that the calm and order of the wards would not be disturbed,” Sharma said.
The RDA also arranged for patients’ relatives to give Ramadoss greeting cards with “get well soon” messages at the Screening OPD, where hundreds are being tested every day. “But he cut his visit short and did not go to that part of the hospital,” Sharma said.
Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit a few days ago, RDA members said it was customary for the health minister to accompany the PM but “the minister breached protocol by being absent during the PM’s visit. Now, he wants to gain political mileage with a visit of his own. Our protest is against that as well”.