Baby Fathima Leba was admitted to Kannur Pariyaram Medical College with a critical heart condition. With her health deteriorating she had to be shifted to Sri Chitra Institute in Thiruvananthapuram, over 500 kms away, a 13-14 hour trip by road. The only option, given the precarious condition of the baby, was an air ambulance. The ambulance left Kannur at 8:30 p.m. with standby paramedical staff.
The message spread like wildfire through social media, with the number and other details of the ambulance. Updates of its location were constantly flashed on social media. Residents along the way kept the roads clear. This overwhelming act of solidarity, irrespective of gender, caste, or religion, ensured that the ambulance covered the 508 kms in 6.5 hours, with one halt to feed the baby. On reading this message thousands across the State breathed a sigh of relief.
Cheers to the people of Kerala who proved that even very difficult situations can be overcome through unity and solidarity.
It is significant (especially in India, today) that Fathima Leba is a Muslim girl. Suffering and compassion has no gender, caste, or religion.
Let every Indian internalise Rabindranath Tagore’s poem:
“Let My Country Awake”
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”