Mumbai

‘Payal was the first doctor in our family’

Life snuffed out: Payal Tadvi got her MBBS degree from the Government Medical College in Miraj.

Life snuffed out: Payal Tadvi got her MBBS degree from the Government Medical College in Miraj.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

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Arrest harassers, say kin of Nair Hospital doc who ended life

Twenty-six-year-old Payal Tadvi, the second-year resident doctor from BYL Nair Hospital who ended her life on May 22, was the first in her family to pursue a medical degree.

Tadvi belonged to the Adivasi Tadvi Bhil community, a scheduled tribe. Her parents and husband have alleged that she was facing harassment and casteist slurs from three senior doctors at the hospital, which pushed her to commit suicide.

The case has shaken up the medical fraternity, with doctors taking to social media demanding justice for Tadvi and strict action against the three senior doctors to set an example. “My daughter was the first woman in our community to pursue postgraduation, and the first in our family to become a doctor. She was a bright student and had worked hard to reach where she was,” her mother, Abeda Tadvi (53), said.

While Tadvi’s parents work at the zilla parishad office in Jalgaon, her elder brother, who is disabled, repairs mobile phones at home. “It was her brother’s condition that prompted her to become a doctor. When she was in Class XII, she told us she wanted to pursue medicine. Our entire family was extremely happy with her decision,” Ms. Tadvi said.

‘Payal was the first doctor in our family’

Tadvi did her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Miraj. After that, she went to Sangli for her year-long internship, and subsequently began preparing for her postgraduation in gynaecology.

“When she came to Nair Hospital for her postgraduation, she was asked to temporarily share a room with Dr. Hema Ahuja and Dr. Bhakti Mehar. The two began harassing her soon,” Tadvi’s husband, Dr. Salman Tadvi, said. “The two doctors would go to the toilet and wipe their feet on her mattress and litter it. When she would be away, they would taunt her that she was spending time with her husband,” he said.

Dr. Ahuja, Dr. Mehar, and Dr. Ankita Khandelwal have been booked for abetment to suicide and under sections of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and the Prevention of Atrocities Act. Tadvi had time and again spoken about the harassment to her parents and husband.

In December 2018, her mother gave a written complaint about the three doctors to the head of the department, but nothing changed. “My daughter was extremely strong. But this constant abuse eventually broke her. The three accused should be punished so that it sets an example for others who traumatise and torture students like Payal,” Ms. Tadvi said. “I hope the police arrest them soon.”

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2019 4:46:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/payal-was-the-first-doctor-in-our-family/article27257250.ece

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