The Maharashtra government has decided to name a prominent nursing institution in Thane after nurse Aruna Shanbaug, the world's oldest comatose patient, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced here on Tuesday. Fadnavis tweeted, "Maharashtra government decided give late Aruna Shanbaug's name to Nursing Training School, Thane. Our infinite salutes to her spirit."
Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse at the KEM hospital in south Mumbai fell victim to a brutal attack by a contract sweeper on November 27, 1973. The 67-year old nurse hailing from Haldipur, Karnataka, who laid in a comatose state for 42 years, died on Monday and was given a tearful farewell.
In a related development, nurses at the KEM Hospital have urged the BMC authorities to convert the Ward No.4A into a memorial after her. The hospital nurses not only looked after Shanbaug with dedication for over four decades, but also fought attempts by the hospital and civic authorities to evict her from the ward. As Shanbaug lay in a vegetative state in that ward, her plight inspired major changes in Indian laws and 'passive euthanasia' was permitted by the Supreme Court.
Presently, the hospital authorities have kept a garlanded photograph of the deceased nurse in the tiny ward where many nurses and others came to pay their homage on Tuesday. They are also toying with the idea of naming the room after Shanbaug and then continue treating patients there without blocking a bed in space-starved Mumbai.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Madhya Pradesh government announced an award of Rs.100,000 in honor of the nurse to be given to an organization working against exploitation of women. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stated that whatever happened with Shanbaug was painful, and described her as a 'symbol of respect'.