Remembering Dr. Girja Dhar

Dr Girja Dhar is no More. She was unwell for sometime  and suffered a massive   Heart attack  . She breathed her last on 13th  July 2018    at her    Srinagar   Residence .

Talking about this great and courageous lady , I feel  duty bound to talk  about her equally Illustrious and  kindhearted husband Dr Syed Naseer Ahmed Shah . Dr Naseer breathed his last in Oct. 2017.

This was a unique couple that Kashmiris  saw for more than five decades . Unique in their  bondage ,  mutual love and understanding ; unique in delivering   help , care ,  Compassion   and support  to needy and  Poor . Help from them came silently without any ostentation or publicity  .    ”  Help , Divulge not ,  Forget and move ahead to look at some other needy . ”  Possibly that was Dr Girja Dhar’s   belief  . So was Dr Naseer’s  conviction . Muslims ,Pandits , Sikhs  could knock the Door of their  House  and  seek help .

It was sometime in 1964 that this couple went for a civil Marriage in London  where they studied  . They belonged to different faiths yet  the underlying mutual love and understanding in this relation,  rose far above those faiths in Cementing their bondage  .  For them ,  Human values and  Humanity proved the biggest  faith .

As a professional , Dr Girja Dhar  earned the  respect and affection from cross section of kashmiris that included Poor , Rich , Young ,Old,  Pandits , Muslims  and Sikhs . Along with her husband , she played a key role in spread of  Medical education in the state more specifically in Kashmir Valley.  She was instrumental  in  establishing Lal Ded  ( Exclusive for Women ) Hospital in Kashmir . She Headed Government Medical College Srinagar  as its Principal during the dark days of militancy . Inspite of grave provocations and an  abortive  attempt  on her life by Armed Militants , she along with her Husband  stayed put in kashmir and continued to serve  Common kashmiri  through so many channels  ;  official and / Private welfare  Organizations .  She also proved her administrative skills when she was inducted as  Chairman J&K State Public Service Commission. She headed so many Committees and  Welfare Trusts .

The couple had Crystal Clear Integrity and  DNA ingrained Honesty . So many friends ( Medical Representatives ) who came close to this couple   will  vouch for my opinion on this particular aspect.  Every sample that was   given  to this couple by Medical representatives  would invariably be passed on to some poor and needy Patient silently. I am personally privy to this act .

I saw Dr Girja  in June 2012,  when,  along with her Team ( women’s welfare Trust ) she did something unique in Kashmir. Well known Bharatyanatyam dancer  Rama Vaidyanathan was invited to Kashmir  to dance on Vaakhs of Lal Ded. And His Excellency Governor  N N Vora , In his address at that time   said that   such  exceptional initiative has brought  a  fresh Breeze of hope and goodwill in  Kashmir . On that day , I came to know about  her missions and   proposed tasks   for promotion of Peace and goodwill in troubled valley.

I know  so many People who admired this great lady and how bad they must be feeling with this irreparable loss. . For His Excellency  Governor N N Vora and first lady   ( Mrs Vora ) , She was like a family Member .  For them , Her death has come  as  a personal Loss .

She was Cremated at Karan Nagar Srinagar and it was   Dr Anil Kaul  ( Her Son In law married to her daughter  Tina Anjila shah  )  who lit the Pyre . Dr   Anil kaul ( son of Prof. B L Kaul )   and Dr   Tina Anjila Shah are  presently based in UK  .

My sincere  Condolences to her immediate  family ,  her brother Shri Jag Mohan Dhar  ,  Dr Phoola kaul  ( Her Bhabi ), Sh.  Muneer  Ahmed Shah  , Dr Ali Mohd Matoo and Prof B L Kaul .

Permit me to close  this post with a couplet of firaq Gorakhpuri .  I firmly  believe that   this couplet  defines the adorable couple  of Dr  Syed Naseer  Ahmed Shah and Dr Girja  Dhar . Peace be to their  souls.

Suuntay hain Ishq naam ke guzrein hain Ik buzurg,

Hum Log Bhi faquir  Issi  silsile  ke  Hain…

(There once lived . we hear a revered  elder ; Love,

We too have descended from the same saintly clan.)

Autar Mota is a Blogger  , Translator and writes in English , Urdu , Kashmiri and Hindi.His write-ups have appeared in many national magazines and journals.