NEW DELHI: Two prominent health groups in the country, on Monday, condemned what their members say are caste-based discrimination in medical education institutions that pushed a young woman doctor from a tribal community to suicide on May 22.
The People’s Health Movement and Medico Friends Circle have expressed concern that the suicide of Payal Tadvi, who was pursuing postgraduate education in gynaecology in a public hospital in Mumbai, appeared linked to persistent caste-based discrimination and harassment she faced from colleagues.
Three women doctors who were accused of disallowing her to participate in operations or deliveries have since been suspended. Tadvi, 26, from Jalgaon district, belonged to the Tadvi Bhil community, which is a scheduled tribe.
She was a second-year resident doctor in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department of TNMC, and had graduated MBBS from Government Medical College, Miraj.
“We demand urgent action against the caste oppression, humiliation by upper caste senior doctors, which forced Dr Payal to suicide. The rampant ingrained casteism and impunity in educational institutions must be urgently recognised and stopped,” the statement by the two networks said.
It added that Tadvi was continuously harassed and experienced gender and casteist abuse and discrimination by three senior doctors, which led her to take the extreme step of ending her life in the hostel of Bombay Municipal Corporation-run Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai.