New Delhi: A resident doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) attempted suicide Sunday over alleged caste and gender discrimination.
The condition of the doctor, who is in her late 30s, is stable, according to the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) at AIIMS.
She is studying dentistry and belongs to a Scheduled Caste. No FIR has been lodged yet.
The RDA raised the matter with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Sunday.
Delhi: Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Sciences) today wrote a letter to the Union Minister of Health, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, over 'inaction of administration over caste & gender-based harassment of a Resident Doctor by faculty at AIIMS'. pic.twitter.com/eGdKdu9iPa
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2020
Calling it a “serious event of caste and gender-based discrimination”, the RDA wrote to the minister saying the “reluctant behaviour of the (AIIMS) administration… led the resident doctor to take such an extreme step of inflicting self-harm”.
“She tried killing herself by medicine overdose but we are relieved that her condition is stable now,” RDA president Adarsh Pratap Singh told ThePrint.
Taking action, says AIIMS
AIIMS public relations officer B.N. Acharya told ThePrint Monday morning they haven’t received any formal complaint in connection with the incident, but have taken cognisance of it and are taking action.
ThePrint texted Acharya in the afternoon for a comment on the allegation that AIIMS failed to take action to stop the discrimination, but is yet to get a response.
DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakkar said the police haven’t received any formal complaint and, therefore, no FIR has been filed in the case yet. “Once an FIR is filed, we will take action accordingly.”
AIIMS police station in-charge Iqpal Singh told ThePrint: “She has been saying that she is not in a condition to speak and that is why the FIR has not been filed.”
Delhi Police Special Branch officer Mange Ram said it wouldn’t take much for the doctor to file a complaint.
“She should dial 100 and file a complaint. Unless there is a formal complaint, there will not be any action,” said Ram.
‘Harassed by senior male doctor’
An RDA member, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint the resident doctor has been facing caste-based and gender harassment at the hands of a senior male doctor for the last one year.
The RDA, in its letter, said the doctor informed the AIIMS authorities several times about the discrimination she faced, but still no action was taken.
She had written three letters last month to the AIIMS administration, regarding the discrimination. This apart, she had also written to the women’s grievances cell, the SC-ST welfare association at the AIIMS and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes but “no appropriate action has been taken”, the letter stated.
All these “forced the complainant to take such an extreme step”, it added.
The RDA said the association too had informed the AIIMS authorities about the discrimination.
The RDA has appealed to the AIIMS administration and the health ministry now to expedite the process of delivering justice to the complainant, according to the letter.
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