Arunachal Missionary Nun receives International Human Rights Award

A missionary Nun, Doctor Rose Tom, working in Arunachal Pradesh is conferred with ‘International Human Rights” award 2019 for her healthcare services in the last villages of Arunachal Pradesh by a Delhi-based International Human Rights Council on 9 December, at the India Islamic Centre Auditorium in the presence of invitees from all over the country and abroad.

Doctor Sister Rose Tom, who hails from Kottayam District in Kerala, a Gynecologist, with more than 33 years of work experience from across the country, is currently working for the last four years at the Krick and Bourry Memorial (KBM) Hospital in Injan village of Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh.

“I am totally humbled by this honour”, said the 67 year old Nun, who belongs to the Sacred Heart (SH) Congregation of Pala Province, Kerala. She came to Arunachal in 2015, responding to the special invitation from Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese, to serve in KBM Hospital, the only Church-run hospital in the north eastern state, bordering Myanmar and China.

Speaking on the occasion, she said, “Healthcare service is still major concern for the people in Arunachal.” According to a recent report, the Arunachal’s Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is 36 deaths per 1000 births, the highest figure recorded in the state since 2000 and one of the worst in the country. “We are doing our best first of all to educate and spread awareness among the people to reduce the IMR in the state through our mobile clinics and village health workers”, said the awardee, who has done her MD in Padova University, Italy and DGO in Dublin, Ireland.

Accepting the award, she said, “This award is for the hundred of health workers like me, who walk for days to care for the sick in the last villages of Arunachal Pradesh”.

Bishop George too congratulated Doctor Rose Tom for the honour and said that she rightly deserves the award. “Dr. Sr. Rose Tom, with her years of experience and expertise is a doctor for the people. When she was told of the need for a Doctor in KBM Hospital, she at once relinquished her duty as a medical superintendent in a big hospital in Kerala and moved to Arunachal. She has indeed become a blessing for the people around. More than the health care per se, the awareness imparting role that she plays is more important as many deaths are caused to due to the ignorance of the people”, he said.

The missionary Sister receiving the award is not only a big honour for the state but it also highlights the lack of proper healthcare for the people living in hilltops of Arunachal Pradesh.