For people living under the curfew in Srinagar since Tuesday evening, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s indication that it could be lifted in a couple of days might have brought some relief.
Each day under curfew means great hardships for many, especially those who are in need of healthcare and medicines.
Ashima (name changed), 27, and her parents live in Nowshera, where protests take place with relentless regularity. The family moved to a hotel 100 m from a hospital a couple of hours before curfew was enforced. The reason: Ashima is due to deliver a baby this week. “We just don’t want to take any risk with her life,” said her father.
Last week, Ashima’s cousin had a baby. “She had a caesarian delivery but can’t even go to her doctor for a follow-up,” said Ashima, adding that her cousin has run out of antibiotics as all chemist shops in the city are closed.
Cut to Dr Mohammad Shafi, medical superintendent of Srinagar’s only maternity
hospital. It is located near Lal Chowk in the heart of the city and caters to the entire Valley. “Though we managed to keep the out-patient department open, it remains deserted because of the curfew,” said Dr Shafi.
“We want to ferry our staff in ambulances but the security forces on the roads don’t entertain the curfew passes.” he said.
(With HTC, Delhi)