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How the Cama nurses saved all their patients

December 26, 2008

Text: Vaihayasi P Daniel. Photographs: Reuben N V

The young nurses at Mumbai's Cama and Albless's maternity ward are simple, hard-working women.

They are, it would appear, quite like the feisty Mumbai women one sees every day in the city's streets hurrying to catch a train or bus home, even late in the evening, after a long day of work.

There is a slight difference: A braver band of women than these Cama nurses you are probably unlikely to find.

The wards housed in multiple buildings at the 112-year-old Cama and Albless -- a 560-bed Maharashtra government hospital, that caters to women and young children -- had nearly 180 patients admitted on the evening of November 26. Some were women who had recently delivered and were under post-delivery care. Others were children. There were also several pregnant women.

Most of the patients were finishing their dinner and settling down for the night when they were startled by the continuous and ominous pounding of gunfire about half a kilometre away in the direction of the Chhatrapatti Shivaji Terminus in south Mumbai.

Image: The ante-natal and post-natal ward at the Cama and Albless hospital that was attacked on November 26.

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