Beena Tiwari, a 28-year-old Major in the Indian Army, recently gained online fame after a photo of her was shared on the Army’s Twitter account. She was stationed in a parafield hospital in Turkey, which was hit by an earthquake. Tiwari hails from Dehradun and comes from a family with a long history of military service.
Her father, Mohan Chandra Tiwari, retired from the Kumaon Regiment as a Subedar Major, while her grandfather, Khilanand Tiwari, also served in the same regiment and retired as a Subedar. Beena is part of a 99-member medical team that was sent to Turkey as part of India’s “Operation Dost” initiative to provide aid and rescue work.
Her mother, Janki, mentioned that they are only able to speak with Beena for a few minutes each day. Beena’s father expressed pride in his daughter’s service and the family’s tradition of military service, stating that Beena is facing the challenges of her mission with bravery and dignity.
After 12 days of providing medical assistance to more than 3,500 patients in earthquake-stricken Turkey, the Indian Army’s medical team deployed under Operation Dost has returned to India. The team successfully ran a fully equipped 30-bedded Field Hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, attending to nearly 4,000 patients around the clock. Major Beena Tiwari, who served as the Medical Officer, shared her experience of setting up the hospital in a building near a local hospital in Iskenderun amid tremendous loss of life and resources. Tiwari mentioned the help they received from the locals and the Turkish government and how they were treated very homelily. Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh Sharma, second-in-command of 60 para field hospital, thanked the Indian government’s quick decision to send them for the disaster and said the mission was to win the hearts and minds of the people by providing timely medical care.
Lt. Colonel Sharma described how the mission was mobilized within 8-10 hours after receiving orders, and the team reached Turkey’s Adana airport on the morning of February 8. From there, the Indian Medical team established their field hospital in Iskendrun and provided medical assistance to more than 3600 patients. Sharma mentioned that they were able to provide the best medical care possible in the given scenario, and the patients were very grateful to India and its team.
India was one of the first countries to respond to search and rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria, and the Indian government sent tons of relief material and specialized search and rescue teams in collaboration with the Indian Army under Operation Dost. Along with a mobile hospital and 250 Army personnel, three self-sustaining teams of the NDRF and specialized vehicles and other supplies were also deployed in the worst-hit areas of Turkey and Syria. The NDRF teams rendered assistance in rescue operations, and the medical team set up the field hospital in Iskenderun.
The Indian government follows the G-20 mantra of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” and sent emergency medicines and equipment to Syria, including portable ECG machines, patient monitors, and other essential medical items, despite the US sanctions on the country.