Nurse at 80 retires after assisting over 1000 child births
Shillong, Dec 12: Eighty-year-old Kyiek Mukhim, a nurse-cum-midwife who assisted in the delivery of over 1000 babies and attended to innumerable medical emergencies in the remote villages of Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district, has finally taken voluntary retirement.
Kyiek, lovingly known as Kong Kyiek in her locality, had worked full time at Kharang Rural Centre (KRC) till June this year when she had to be hospitalised for age-related ailments. "Old age got the better of me and I have to pass on the baton to a new set of people who I believe will continue to work for the welfare of the poor and the needy in the village," Kong Kyiek told.
The management committee of the KRC on Saturday organised a farewell for her, where other employees and her children were present. Retiring without any benefits, she was given a memento, some cash and a letter of appreciation from the KRC, which was founded by English-born humanitarian worker Annie Margaret Barr. A mother of six, Kong Kyiek was one of the first few students adopted by Barr at her rural centre in 1952. She went on to complete her education, nursing training and internship at the Shillong Civil Hospital, Ganesh Das Hospital and the TB Hospital here for three years after which she started working at the KRC.
A alumni of the Lady Reid Basic school here and the Assam-based Sarania Ashram, where she learnt weaving, horticulture and sewing, Kong Kyiek had also served at the Kasturba Centre at Laitkroh prior to her stint as a nurse and midwife. She married Dranwell Wahlang in 1957 at the age of 20. Kong Kyiek has served at the KRC for 62 years, working almost every day and attending to medical emergencies even in the dead of the night.
"I have lost count of the exact number of babies I have delivered but I can tell you that on an average I attended to two deliveries a month at Kharang and adjoining villages. "There were many years in between that I worked alone at the Centre without any doctor and there were so many medical emergencies that I handled," she said.
Located at about 40 km from here, Kharang village has 352 families with a population of 2117, as per 2011 census. The adjoining villages Pingwait, Mawlein, Dienglieng, Nongjrong with over 800 households have an approximate population of 6000.