Making a small difference in the life of a silent mother by Dr S.K.Panda, Chief Secretary

Making a small difference in the life of a silent mother
(an incident of Gandacherra on 1st September, 2012 by Dr S.K. Panda, Chief Secretary, Tripura)

On 1st September, 2012, we had gone to Gandacherra in connection with inauguration of new building of the Gandacherra Police Station. After reaching from Agartala by chopper, we visited one Anganwadi Centre, one Health Sub-Centre and interacted with a Women’s Self Help Group running a Ration Shop. After the inaugural function, there was a review meeting with Block level officers of various line departments. We briefly discussed repair and maintenance of roads required for movement of the security forces to the International Border for relocation of the Police Outpost, which would help in checking ingress of insurgents from their hide out across the border. We were scheduled to return back to Agartala from Gandacherra by Helicopter at 3-00 PM. The sky was getting clouded and pilot was asking us to hurry up. While we were about to leave, I got telephone call that “a lady patient is having acute labour pains in local hospital and is required to be shifted to Agartala for treatment. She is not in a position to travel by road, which will take time about 5 hours”.

2. The Pilot was mentioning that we would have to leave quickly as the weather may turn bad. Very quickly, I assessed the situation and asked Shri Abhishek Singh, the DM & Collector, Dhalai to bring the patient to the Helipad. It was arranged within 10 minutes. We had a brief discussion with the doctor ( Shri Saradendu Reang SDMO who is working there since 2005) and the Pilot. Doctor indicated that the patient is in a condition to travel. Initially, I proposed that we can go by road and the Chopper can be used for taking the patient. The DM & Collector, West Tripura was told to send ambulance and doctor to the airport at Agartala for shifting the patient to the Hospital and to inform G B hospital suitable for providing required medical assistance to the patient on arrival. As there was no other Doctor, I requested the SDMO, Shri Saradindu Debbarma to accompany the patient, which he promptly and smilingly agreed to. After the expecting mother, her husband and the doctor boarded the chopper, we found that there was space left and I along with other officers squeezed in to one row. The chopper left around 3-15 PM and reach Agartala Airport at 3-35 PM. The patient was shifted to GB hospital in the ambulance which was waiting at the Airport. At about 5-00 PM, I got a sms form the DM that the lady has given birth to a baby girl and both of them are in good health.
This is a small little incident for us but a big thing for a poor lady in acute labour pain. Often in government, we bother too much about what should come to us because of the position held and in the process forget what we have to give to the people [particularly those who have no voice and represent the silent many (different from the vocal few)]. I was happy and felt that this is one such incidents which restore one’s faith, make the civil service interesting and meaningful.
I spoke about the incident to a friend, who felt that, this need to be pubilicized – not for indicating what one has done but for inspiring others particularly the younger colleagues to do similar things.

*Article/Experience shared/told by Hon. Chief Secretary and uploaded by Saumen Sarker, Merrill Lynch & Co., NY

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