Dr. Sheikh Abdul Ahad, a well-known ENT Specialist who passed away recently was truly a noble soul!
Kashmir has produced many renowned doctors who have made a name within Kashmir and abroad. I had the good fortune of knowing a few of these doctors personally. Dr. Sheikh Abdul Ahad an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist was one among these. I had the good fortune of meeting him personally in mid-sixties of the last century. In 1966 I visited Delhi and stayed for some time with Dr. Abdul Aziz Hagroo, a physician specialist who was undergoing his M.B.B.S. course in Maulana Azad Medical College. Dr. Abdul Ahad was also undergoing same training there. Next, I again went to Delhi in 1970-71 for two years to learn French and German languages. Incidentally, Dr. Ahad who had completed his M.B.B.S. was enrolled there for his Master of Surgery course in ENT. During the training itself he got a post of Registrar and was allotted a flat. I stayed with him. During the course of my stay there I had the opportunity of meeting a number of Kashmiri doctors who were undergoing advanced training. These included Dr. Upendra Kaul, the world famous heart specialist; Dr. Abdul Aziz Hagroo, physician specialist; Dr. Afzal Wani, the neuro surgeon; Dr. Abdul Rashid Sherwani, general surgeon; Dr. Bashir Ahmad, eye specialist; Dr. Bashir, general surgeon and some others whose names I cannot recollect.
After completing his Master’s degree Dr. Ahad joined the Kashmir Medical College and worked with Dr. Mir Maqbool who was the head of the department. During the course of his service he finally became the head of the department of ENT in the Medical College and retied as such. He was very methodical, dedicated and knowledgeable. In fact, he introduced the micro-surgery of the ear and performed very delicate operations. During the turmoil of nineties he conducted research and wrote a paper as to how the slapping by the security personnel had caused a virtual epidemic of ear perforations. He read this paper in a number of conferences held in different parts of the country.
Apart from being very soft spoken and gentle, he was a philanthropist and helped many a people. He never practiced for money and often examined deserving patients without any charges. Incidentally, he came from a very well to do family of Selou in Sopore. The family had no dearth of money. For last three to four years he was suffering from a serious illness but he did not allow that illness to interfere with his practice. He hardly missed five or so days of practice in spite of the illness! Seeing his smiling face no one could judge that he was suffering from a serious problem himself. He never let it show and was always smiling. The last I met him was in the middle of November when he came to our home to see a relation suffering from a sore throat. On my insisting that he should take lunch with us, he said he had some patients waiting and would make it next time. As God willed that next time can never come now! Even then he did not show any signs of a serious illness. He seemed to be in perfect health. He had a peaceful end and fell seriously ill only for a couple of days!
On January 7, we held a small prayer meeting in which some of his friends like Zafar Shah, Dr. Javeid Iqbal, G.M.Zahid, Anwar Ashai, Dr. Mir Ghulam Rasool, and Dr. Lateef Ahmad and some others participated. We prayed that God Almighty may rest his soul in peace and grant him a place in Janna. Ameen.
Mohammad Ashraf, I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir