The sound of the bullets forced Nurse Anjali Kulthe to look down out of the first floor window. Gunning down the two guards at the entrance of Mumbai’s Cama and Albless Hospital, two terrorists were rushing up to its first floor.
The staff nurse at the antenatal care ward was caring for 20 pregnant women the night of 26 November 2008. Strongly bolting the two heavy doors of her ward, Anjali rushed all the pregnant women and their family members into the small pantry space at the far end of the ward. She dialed the doctor on duty to alert the police about the entry of the terrorists into their hospital.
One of the terrorists then fired two bullets in her direction, wounding the ayah’s hand. Hurrying her to the casualty, Anjali bandaged her profusely bleeding wound.
Becoming human shields for all their patients, the staff in the hospital bravely switched off all the lights, locked ward doors, hid patients in washrooms, risking their own lives during the 50 minutes of firing between the two terrorists and the police.
While the terrorists were throwing hand grenades at the police, one woman went into labour. Holding her hand, Anjali bravely led her down the stairs to the second floor. With the light of just one torch she successfully conducted the delivery. Risking her life, Anjali saved both the baby and the mother.