KARACHI, April 22: “We lost Faiza in an accident that could have been avoided. There was a second opportunity to save her life when she was immediately taken to a private hospital near the place of the accident. But the doctors refused to take her case.
“We can’t bring Faiza back. But we do desire that her death isn’t in vain and the authorities concerned take steps to solve the transport problem of students and ensure that private hospitals take all kinds of emergency cases.”
This is how Faiza Nadeem Zaidi’s family feels about her tragic death. Ms Zaidi, a student of the NED University of Engineering and Technology, was travelling in an overloaded Karachi University bus when she slipped from the footboard and came under the wheels of the bus. The accident took place in front of KU’s Silver Jubilee Gate last Saturday.
The girl was immediately taken to a private hospital at Nipa Chowrangi where doctors reportedly refused to treat her, saying that it was a “police case”. Upon hearing this, students rushed her to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
By then, however, it was too late. She was declared dead on arrival. Faiza was the only daughter of Nadeem Zaidi, a resident of Ghazi Town, Malir.
“Many students have died in the past due to the same reason and we want Faiza’s death to motivate officials to find a permanent solution to the transport problem affecting thousands of students of KU and the NED University,” says Syed Komail Haider Zaidi, Faiza’s brother and himself a final year student at NED’s computer science and information technology department.
Quite frustrated with the chronic transport issue, Komail makes a comparison between these two major universities in the city and Sindh University in the context of transport facilities being provided by them to their respective students.
“For over 25,000 students, KU runs only 27 buses while the NED University, having about 6,000 students, runs only 14 points. As compared to this, the Sindh University, which has only 1,000 students, runs 40 buses in a single day. Why this discrimination?” he remarked.
Parents appeal for ‘focus
Expressing concern over the recent incidents of violence on the KU campus, Faiza’s parents appealed to all students not to disturb the academic environment and to focus on their studies.
“Our daughter was a practicing Muslim and very much focused on her studies. She hated protests that suspended academic activities. In her name, we appeal to all students that if they have any regard for our daughter then they should try to excel in their academic pursuits and try to implement the teachings of Islam in their lives,” says Mr Nadeem Zaidi.
Recalling moments with Faiza, Shabana Hasan, her aunt, says forgiveness was the hallmark of her personality. “She couldn’t see anyone sad and knew how to win people over. If nothing else worked, she would just hug and kiss us.”
As a tribute to her character, the family says that they have forgiven the accused driver and have also signed the relevant papers.
“It was an accident that could have happened with anyone. And, if the transport issue is not resolved, it can happen again. Please, if you felt the pain of the loss of our daughter, do something to resolve the issue. We don’t want any compensation for ourselves, but what we do want is an effort to save lives,” they said.