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.