Today is the death anniversary of Ms. Aruna Shanbaug. Her case “represents everything that is wrong with India’s society”. When It comes to a better workplace and safety of nurses, we still haven’t done anything. Every day our nurses get the inhuman treatment and no respect for their rights and privacy. We are guilt of your fate Aruna! I remember the recent case of Kolkata where a nurse was eve teased by some goons and harassed by calling her ‘Corona’ while she was on her way back to home after an exhausting shift in mindest of the COVID-19 crisis. I also have to mention here the same thing is going on what has been done with Aruna earlier, some members of the health care team is mostly the culprit in the story.
When I was working in Rishikesh, my good friend and colleague was harassed by one of the team member (again the housekeeping fellow). She and some of the other nurses were regularly eve teased by a group of some men right in front of the hospital gate where 4-5 security guards are commissioned every time. None of them responded even knowing it all. It was very bold and an everyday matter for them. Finally after finding it out we had to take the decision and put the mater in front of the seniors. The unfortunate things did not stop here, instead of finding the goons in CCTV and identifying the everyday bullies, the senior administration interrogated the victim like she was the culprit.
Literally the attitude of the authority was not at all sensible and supportive to the victim nurse but they tried to dismiss and bury the case.
No need to mention the Hydrabad case of veterinarian brutally raped and burnt, on her way home.
This disappointment is not only my or the story of her. It happens with every nurse at the workplace by every cader and level of her colleagues and the common ‘man’. No one is pure and pious here. Are female healthcare workers an easy target for you? Or you find them submissive and vulnerable? Why the female nurses changing rooms are located near to car parking ? I have observed CCTV cameras here and there which directly put them on risk. (This might not be an exact scenario in your institution, it may be in some other ways, you are free to expand your experiences in comments) Or is it merely my misconception? When will we learn and be more sensitive towards these issues, are we waiting for next Aruna? We should ask for better workplace culture and the safety of nurses. Let us join the hands and start being a responsible and safe colleague to work with. We should also integrate these values in others by being vigilant and reporting and taking immediate action to alleviate the workplace harassment. Please let me know your views in the comments below.