Picture a moment when the biggest accolades in your profession are reserved for you. When your sacrifice and struggles over the years finally seem worth it as they say. When you are acknowledged as one of the biggest icons and inspirations in your chosen field of work. That is precisely what took place with Harjit Kaur when she was presented with the highly prestigious Florence Nightingale Award by Shri. Ramnath Kovind, Honorable President of India and Shri. J.P. Nadda, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare on International Nurses Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, on the 12th of May, 2018.
For Harjit Kaur, Senior Nursing Officer/Senior Staff Nurse at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital & PGIMER, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi, it was all about coming full circle. The glittering occasion in the presence of other dignitaries like Shri Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Preeti Sudan definitely marked a watershed moment in her life.
Harjit Kaur at a glance
There is more to Harjit Kaur than one may initially gauge. Of course, the facts state the obvious; she finished her nursing course in the year 1988 followed by her 9-month midwifery course and her professional start at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in the year 1995. Prior to her nursing course, she studied at Guru Nanak University for about 6 months. Wonder why? The story goes that her parents wanted her to become a teacher instead of venturing into the nursing profession.
However, destiny had its own surprises in store for Harjit Kaur and her family. She was a child when she had once visited the hospital to meet a relative. Seeing the nurses who were working there, young Harjit was greatly inspired and this was the inception of her desire to become a professional nurse. Today, the rest is history as they say since she ultimately could not say no to her heart’s call and mission to serve and care for people. Today, along with her professional career and multiple laurels over the years, Harjit Kaur is associated with several NGOs while being reputed for performing impeccable social service in various capacities. She has also been at the forefront of organizing several blood donation camps for public welfare.
Ms. Kaur is not just a skilled nurse and social worker. She was a good sportswoman, playing hockey, Kabaddi, and Kho-Kho all throughout her school and college years. Few know that Kaur has reached up to State level in hockey which she played really well as per her early coaches. She has worked in the casualty department for 8-9 years along with possessing experience in the crucial disaster department for 7-8 years as well. She has also played a pivotal role in setting up the National Injury Surveillance Trauma Centre in 2014, Disaster Ward in 2014, and the Thalassemia Department in 2000.
Patients have praised her deftness and skill, saying that there is absolutely zero pain while she gives injections. She has groomed several junior nursing professionals and students, mentoring them carefully and never once shouting at them even if they made mistakes. She is 51 years old but still remains actively associated with social services. An incident comes to mind for many people when Kaur was on vacation some years back and a fire broke out in the locality with many slums getting burnt down. Upon learning of this incident, she took her own medical kit to the affected settlement and instantly started helping people who were injured in the blaze. She did not even pause for a bite and worked tirelessly throughout the day to tend to people. She has several other talents including creating various types of flowers from paper and has also won prizes for her articles, poetry, and posters. Her poems have also been published in newspapers.
Key milestones in Harjit Kaur’s life
- 29+ years of professional nursing experience.
- Recipient of Great Personality Award 2020 from Prakarti Foundation.
- Recipient of National Excellence Award from Ek Sakha Social Welfare Society, Madhya Pradesh
- Recipient of Rashtriya Stree Shakti Samman in 2019.
- Recipient of Women Achiever Award 2019 at Indian Women Convention.
- Recipient of Jeevan Raksha Award in 2019 from Pratishtha Yuva Sangathan, Maharaja Agrasen College, Delhi.
- Recipient of Global Achievers Award 2019 from Gopal Kiran Samaj Sevi Sanstha, Gwalior.
- Appreciation from Indo-Canadian Cultural Organization in yoga meditation and women empowerment.
- Received World of Peace International Award 2019 from International Male Female Facebook Federation Award and Seminar.
- Received Sajal Jal Prahari Samman in 2019.
- Recipient of Global Achiever’s Award in 2019 and Great Personality Award by Prakriti Foundation at Meerut in 2019.
- Recipient of Jeevan Raksha Award 2018 from Pratiksha Yuva Sangathan.
- Recipient of Best Employee Award 2016 from PGIMER & Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya Hospital, Delhi
- Played a leading role in and participated in several prominent conferences and educational seminars over the years.
Special Services Rendered (Major Crisis Situations)-
- Shangrila Hotel food poisoning cases.
- Vijay Chowk lathi charge victims in 2014.
- Victims of Bulandshahr cylinder burst.
- Bank burn case victims at CP in 2015.
- Akbar Road lathi charge victims in 2014.
- Victims of blast outside Delhi High Court.
- Victims of 2008 serial blasts in Delhi.
- Services provided for Uttarakhand disaster in 2013.
- East Central Bay of Bengal cyclonic storm victims in 2013.
- Victims of lathi charge at Asha Ram strike in 2016 at Jantar Mantar.
- Services rendered for burn victims at Hotel Arihant, Karol Bagh.
The list of her educational, nursing, social and community achievements is too vast to pin down in a single write-up. Yet, Harjit Kaur continues to be as humble and down to earth as she is known for. Her pleasing personality and emphasis on quality nursing care have won her the trust of thousands of patients and healthcare professionals over the years.
Ms. Kaur has walked the talk, working amidst various crises over the years, setting up pioneering institutions, contributing hugely towards society with her notable associations with NGOs, blood donation camps, and other work, and her participation at various educational seminars and conferences over the years. Her creative talents including poetry, writing, artwork, and poster-making have also won her the respect of her colleagues. In short, Harjit Kaur has become one of the biggest inspirations for Indian nurses in recent times. Her dedication to her work and commitment towards tireless service is worth of emulation indeed.