Major Beena Tiwari, seen hugging Turkish woman in viral pictures, recounts her experience in earthquake-hit country

Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 20 (ANI): The Indian Army’s medical team deployed under Operation Dost touched down in India on Monday at Ghaziabad’s Hindon Airport after 12 days of the operation and treating over 3,500 patients in earthquake-hit Turkey.

Major Beena Tiwari, the Indian Army Major who served as the Medical Officer in the 60 parachute field hospital, was seen hugging a Turkish woman in a viral picture, has recounted her experience while speaking to ANI.

Major Beena Tiwari while speaking to ANI said that they saw a tremendous loss of life and resources when they reached Turkey. Between all the chaos, finding a spot to set up the hospital was also tough.

Major Tiwari said that within hours of reaching Turkey, the army set up their hospital in a building near a local hospital in Iskenderun.

The 99-member self-contained team successfully ran a fully equipped 30-bedded Field Hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, attending to nearly 4,000 patients around the clock.

The locals and the Turkish government also helped them a lot, the Major added.

"We were treated very homelily by the locals. As soon as we set up the hospital, patients started to come and there was no stopping after that. During 11 to 12 days there, we saw more than 3,600 patients there," Major Beena Tiwari said.

As soon as the order to mobilize was received, the 60 parachute field hospital team was ready to take off within 8 to 10 hours from Agra Air Force Station on February 7.

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.

"The mission was to win the minds and hearts of the people by providing timely medical care. I think we have achieved that," said the Lt. Colonel while speaking to ANI.

Lt Colonel Adarsh Sharma said that time was a very crucial factor in this mission.

He said that they were mobilised on the evening of February 7 from Agra and reached Turkey’s Adana airport on the morning of February 8.

From Adana airport, the Indian Medical team went to Iskendrun, they establish their field hospital. And within a matter of hours, the hospital was functional and the treatment of the casualties began as soon as the afternoon of 8th February.

The Lt. Colonel said that there was a vast number of casualties that they dealt with.

"We are lucky that we could provide them with the best medical care that could have been possible in that scenario and the mission was to win the minds and hearts of the people by providing timely medical care. I think we have achieved that," said the Lt. Colonel.

"During the total duration of the operation, we saw more than 3600 patients which included major and minor surgeries. For the initial 2-3 days, a lot of neglected trauma patients were coming to the hospital, and after that, the profile of the patients started changing. Trauma cases declined and chronic patients started coming," Lt. Colonel Adarsh Sharma said while speaking to ANI.

Lt. Colonel Sharma said that the patients were very thankful as their healthcare system was not functional to the max. They were very grateful to India and its team.

"I would want to thank the people of Turkey who helped us with translations and pharmacy. A lot of interns and local doctors also joined us," he added.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey’s southeast and neighbouring Syria on February 6, killing more than 45,000 people and leaving more than a million people homeless along with an economic cost expected to run into billions of dollars, reported Al Jazeera.

India was among the first responder to search and rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria.

India launched Operation Dost to extend assistance to Turkey and Syria after devastating quakes and aftershocks in the region.

The Indian Government sent tons of relief material to both Syria and Turkey in collaboration with the Indian Army as part of the Operation.

Under this, India sent relief materials to Turkey, a mobile hospital, and specialised search and rescue teams.250 Army personnel were also deployed in the worst-hit areas of Turkey and Syria.

Three self-sustaining teams of the NDRF, numbering more than 150 specially trained personnel, along with Rambo and his friends (of the dog squad), specialised vehicles, and other supplies, also reached Turkey.

Specialised equipment and other relief materials weighing over 135 tonnes too reached Turkey.

India sent emergency medicines and equipment including portable ECG machines, patient monitors, and other essential medical items to Syria.

The NDRF teams rendered assistance in rescue operations at Gaziantep while the medical team set up the field hospital in Iskenderun.

The army field hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, Turkey started functioning by running Medical, SurgicalEmergency Wards; X-Ray LabMedical Store.

When asked about sending aid to Syria when the country has been under US sanctions, the government said India follows the G-20 mantra of "One Earth, One Family, One Future." (ANI)