You are always with us and we remember you to sensitize the issues of women’s workplace harassment in general and health institutions in particular. You were one of those bold and assertive girls who decided to go for higher studies, be independent and moved to Mumbai to study nursing course. Your life represents societal, institutional and individual-level oppression of women and a struggle to fight those.
Courtesy: Rajakiya Nurses Sangh Uttar Pradesh
Within a patriarchal society, it is difficult for women to take self-decisions and lead life the way they decided to be. You decided against your family members’ wishes to move to Mumbai for nursing studies. You challenged some seniors’ and colleagues’ taboos on “Being Women”. Being independent, friendly with everyone, able to take all decisions yourself and cheerful.
You were harassed and tortured by your male colleague in the dress changing room which was located in an isolated place. Till today we hear many cases of women workers harassment in the workplace. This incident represents a non-conducive environment for women workers within hospitals and institutions.
Your colleague’s collective unity and the decision to take care of you for four decades in bed is one of the only exemplars of workers’ unity and colleagueship. When your family and friends decided not to take care of you in the vegetative stage. Then your colleagues and their union who fought and reserved a bed for you and took care of you like their child.
The world may remember you for the case of Euthanasia. We Nurses and Women’s Association remember you as a great inspiration to fight for women’s rights in society and a safe working environment for women.
(Thanks to Pinki Virani for documenting your life in her book “Aruna’s Story: the true account of a rape and its aftermath )
He is a clinical nurse and did his doctoral study on the policy issues of human resource for health. Since a decade, he has engaged himself in building a team of nurses to address large public health issues, rights around the professional and working conditions of nurses. He attended 146th Executive Board Meeting of WHO at Geneva as a fellow of Medico Mundis International.