New Delhi: "Aruna (Ramchandra Shanbaug) is the bond that unites us" and "she means a lot to KEM Hospital" whose staff are "determined to take care of her till her last breath by natural process."
These statements made by the Mumbai's KEM Hospital Dean Sanjay Oak weighed heavily on the Supreme Court which rejected the plea made on behalf of Aruna, who has been lying in a vegetative state for the last 37 years after being sexually assaulted, for her mercy killing.
Though "Aruna lives in her own world for the last 37 years", he said "every new batch of entrants, the student nurses are introduced to her and they are told that she is one of us and she continues to be one of us and then they whole-heartedly take care of Aruna."
Oak, who filed an affidavit in the case, recalled that on becoming the Dean in 2008 "he visited Aruna first to take her blessings".
The court noted that all the seven Deans since 1973, when the incident had happened, took care of Aruna who has been in a single room of Ward No 4 (of general internal medicine patients) for 33 years. She loves listening to
devotional songs rendered by Sadguru Wamanrao Pai and likes non-vegetarian food.
Oak said in the affidavit that right from illustrious Dr C K Deshpande, during whose tenure as the Dean the incident had taken place, Dr G B Parulkar, Dr (Smt) Pragna M Pai, Dr R J Shirahatti, Dr (Smt) N A Kshirsagar, Dr M E Yeolekar and now myself, "all of us have visited her room time and again and have cared for her and seen her through her ups and downs".