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Speak only in Hindi or English — Delhi govt’s ILBS hospital tells its nurses, other staffers

ILBS says advisory was issued after it received complaints from visitors. It has also barred religious activities inside the premises to avoid 'mass gathering'.

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New Delhi: The Delhi government-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has prohibited its staff members from speaking with each other in their regional languages within the premises, following complaints from visitors who said they felt “insulted” and often presumed the employees were talking about them or the patients they are accompanying, ThePrint has learnt.

The facility has also barred the performance of “religious activities” by anyone inside its premises.

An order issued on 21 October, a copy of which was accessed by ThePrint, said, “All concerned are hereby advised that regional languages should not be spoken in the institute’s premises.”

The facility — where the country’s first plasma bank was opened in July — has clarified that “only Hindi and English language should be spoken by the staff within the hospital patient care areas”.

The order was issued by Dr Deepak Kumar Badwal, deputy head, operations, medical, at ILBS.

“We have received a few odd complaints where patients’ families felt insulted that the staff was talking in their regional language with each other and they end up presuming that the employees were talking about them and their patient,” Badwal told ThePrint over the phone.

Stating that “the institute respects all religions”, the advisory said, “…religious activities should not be practiced inside the hospital premises.”

The advisory has been marked to ILBS’ head of administration, all deputy heads, assistant heads, senior manager (nurse), and the senior personal secretary to its Director, Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin.

It has also been marked to the I-T department for uploading on the department’s intranet.

Also read: Modi govt begins building database of healthcare workers for Covid immunisation drive

‘Religious activities stopped to avoid gatherings’

Badwal said the decision to bar use of regional languages by staffers was taken “considering the sentiments of patients’ families who get very sensitive at times”, and don’t like nurses and other staffers speaking to each other in their mother tongues.

“It leads to confusion, and families feel they are discussing their patient or them with each other in their personal languages,” he added.

Badwal also clarified that the institute’s move to stop religious activities inside the premises was to avoid “mass gatherings”.

“We have been seeing that some relatives, in order to pray for their patients’ well being, gather in a corner and start worshiping. However, we don’t want other people to feel offended by the religious gathering or activities. We are fine with families sitting and meditating quietly but no other activity will be permitted,” he added.

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  1. Hindi is our national language………Speak your respective regional languages at home or in yours private premises.

  2. This is colonial mindset. In India everybody have right to speak in any language. This is nothing but language imposition. Imagine any hospital in Bangalore orders it’s staff to speak only in Kannada or English. It will become political issue immediately with so called national language speakers will siege the hospital and the state government.

  3. This kind of move will have serious repercussions. So the South should not allow speaking in HINDI? Screw this Hindi Nationalism!!!!

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