Mumbai doctor's suicide: Dr Payal Tadvi thought of suicide in November

Updated: May 30, 2019, 08:35 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

Exclusive: In clearest indication that casteist harassment was constant and relentless, Dr. Payal's close friend tells mid-day how she was systematically pushed over the edge by the three accused over several months

Dr Payal Tadvi with her friend Dr Romil Kakad
Dr Payal Tadvi with her friend Dr Romil Kakad

While the suicide of Nair hospital's Dr Payal Tadvi has been making national news for a week, her friends had been sensing trouble for the last six months. This was revealed in a chat Dr Tadvi had with one of her MBBS classmates. It also revealed that she had skipped college for two days in November last year without informing anyone owing to the harassment she was facing by her seniors at the hospital.

Sagle tension madhe ale ahet me suicide tr nahi na karun ghenar [Everybody is scared I will commit suicide]," were the exact words Dr Payal Tadvi had used in her chat with her best friend from Grant Medical College, Miraj, on November 30. However, no one ever imagined that she was actually contemplating taking her life because of the harassment by the three accused doctors at Nair hospital.

Their WhatsApp conversation
Their WhatsApp conversation

The chats also point to the fact that she had gone absconding after repeated requests to the department to change her unit. "Mahun abscond zhali...chup hote itkya divas...me sangel unit change kelya shivay me resume karnr nahi...konache call nahi uchlat ahe [This is why I am absconding...I have been silent for so long...I will tell them I will not resume until they change my unit...I am not receiving anyone's call]," she messaged Dr Romil Kakad.

"She was extremely upset about the way her seniors were treating her. In our chats and phone conversations, she told me that she wasn't allowed to conduct any deliveries. She was shouted at in front of the patients and juniors for no fault of hers. She was in too much pain and trauma," said Dr Kakad who is pursuing his post-graduation in Akola. "When I suggested that she should talk to her department or unit head, she told me that she had already requested for a change of unit but they didn't budge," he added with a sigh.

Also Read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: Bruises on Dr Payal Tadvi's back point to murder, says lawyer

Screenshots of her chats with Dr Kakad in the last six months
Screenshots of her chats with Dr Kakad in the last six months

Another chat read, "Seniors tras deta ahet bharpur...Mala sahan nahi hot ahe. Seven months zhale, Nahi zhale friendly. In fact situation worst hot ahet [Seniors are harassing me a lot. I can't tolerate it anymore...It has been seven months now but they haven't become friendly yet. In fact, the situation is becoming worse]."

'Workload pressure impossible'

When the three accused doctors — Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal, and Bhakti Mehare — were produced in the court, their lawyer argued that Dr Tadvi committed suicide because of the workload. While her batchmates from Grant Medical College (GMC), Miraj completely refuted the claim stating that she was one of the strongest and most hardworking medicos of their batch.

Screenshots of her chats with Dr Kakad in the last six months

Dr Dharamprakash Kori, an MBBA classmate of hers, said that when they were all preparing for their post-graduation entrance test, Dr Tadvi became his support. "She was a strong woman and a support system for our group. The claims of these accused doctors are completely false because they don't know about her struggle. Despite being from a poor family background, she achieved her dreams by studying hard to become a doctor. Her brother is physically-challenged which inspired her to take up this career," said Dr Kori.

"She was extremely studious and always scored above 60 per cent. She had never failed in any subject," he added. According to medicos, if a medical student can pass MBBS and complete one year of rural duty without breaking down, second year of post-graduation is more relaxing. "The first year of degree and post-graduation are most hectic and if she can successfully go through them, she won't commit suicide in second year over workload when you have juniors to assist you," said Dr Sushant Srivastava, another of her batch mates.

Also Read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: How were three accused first to find Dr Payal Tadvi's body, ask cops

Dr Tadvi with her MBBS friends
Dr Tadvi with her MBBS friends

When she was given a rural posting at a primary health centre in Dhanora, she used to travel regularly in public buses for 20kms from her place. In fact, she would return alone at night without being scared. "So people who are saying that she died because of work pressure are making false claims," said Dr Kori. Dr Kakad who remembers her as a cheerful woman, said, "She was always known as the happy-go-lucky girl of our batch of 100 students," he said about Dr Tadvi who was also a trained classical dancer.

'Janne de re' [Let it go] was her favourite phrase for anyone in stress, her friends recall. "I want justice for her. The batch of 2011 GMC, Miraj knows that she won't commit suicide for nothing," Dr Kakad insisted.

Dr Tadvi's friend Dr Sushant Srivastava
Dr Tadvi's friend Dr Sushant Srivastava

Committee report awaited

On Wednesday, Aditya Shirodkar, Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena head met registrar of Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) and demanded cancellation of the medical licences of the three doctors accused of institutional murder of Dr. Payal Tadvi. Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) head Dr. Shivkumar Utture said that once the anti-ragging committee report is out, an MMC inquiry will be held and a decision will be taken.

Nov 30, 2018
Day Dr. Tadvi sent the message about 'committing suicide'

Also Read: Payal Tadvi suicide case: Mom submitted, took back detailed complaint 9 days before suicide

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