Most of us don’t acknowledge that in addition to the commandos and soldiers on the list of nation servers also come the doctors and nurses, who give most part of their life towards treating the Army personnel and their families. One such doctor is Dr Kameshwari Sharma who decided to join the military during the national emergency.
“I remember my husband ridiculed me and said, ‘What will you do in the Army? Deliver children?’ Regardless, I took the step and applied for the post of a military doctor and was selected as a specialist,” says Kameshwari. Kameshwari studied with great difficulty and succeeded as her teachers helped her with scholarships. Also, she could study medicine only after her marriage. “I was married at 19 and became pregnant when I was in my first-year of medicine. But, yet, I continued practising as medicine was my passion.”
Having joined the military soon after she completed her Bachelor’s, she recollects her experiences. “We were the first batch of emergency commission officers; we were trained and my first posting was to Jalandhar in Punjab. I would be called for emergencies from many places as there were not many doctors back then.
A few places didn’t even have proper facilities in the hospital. Once, there was an emergency in Lansdowne, a hill station in Uttarakhand. The lady had haemorrhage by the time I could reach. She was in a lot of pain, and we had to remove the uterus to save the lady’s life. And the next morning I saw her smoke a cigarette; she told me it had been three days since she smoked and I laughed to myself thinking I saved her so she could smoke more cigarettes in life,” laughs the doctor as she recollects.
As a woman, it was a little tough to go from one place to another, she shares. “I used to travel in an open jeep, sometimes overnight, as I cannot avoid emergencies. But, by God’s grace, I reached safely all the time,” says the 86-year-old lady who still stands strong and independent.With love for plants and greenery, she now spends most of her time taking care of a variety of plants; content with a fulfilling life.