Young Indian pediatrician to child's rescue in New Orleans
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Young Indian pediatrician to child's rescue in New Orleans

Sandhya Mani is among the few docs, who is on a healing mission, reports Lalit K Jha.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2005 12:03 IST

Almost all her friends and community members might have deserted her in New Orleans to save themselves from the Hurricane Katrina. But, she had a call to perform her duty.

Pediatrician Sandhya Mani, 27, is one among the only 15 staff staying at the children's hospital in New Orleans treating young kids injured or fallen ill in the aftermath of the devastating Katrina.

In fact, she went to New Orleans at a time when every one in the city was leaving for a safer place.

Her parents Serugudi Mani and Rajeswari Mani in Baton Rouge, who spoke to Sandhya only once so far on Monday, said she was working under adverse circumstances with no power.

"They are relying completely on generators. I do not know, how long they would be able to run the generators," Mani said, adding they were not able, so far, to establish a contact with her.

"She is performing her duty, but we are more worried about her safety and security," said Mani, who is an environmental scientist. All telephone lines and communication systems including cell phone are down for the past couple of days.

On Monday night, Mani said Sandhya called using the emergency communication system of hospital. "She said, situation in New Orleans was beyond imagination. It is devastation all around," Mani said.

Sandhya might have to stay there for next several days so as to treat patients coming to the hospital. "She is just performing her duty" he said. She, however, is worried about her town house, which was brought by father. The situation is in a very fluid state.

According to Mani, Sandhya said they need not worry about her as she was performing her duty to treat the patients. "There are enough food in the hospital and also oil to run the generators," Mani said quoting Sandhya. "But, I do not know, how long generators can run and how they are going to get diesel supply," he said adding all these thoughts made them more worried. "It is a tough call," he said.

First Published: Sep 01, 2005 12:03 IST