While political persona has overshadowed Kodnani the gynaecologist,her husband is still a doctor of repute in Naroda
On Saturday,there was not a single patient in Shivam Surgical Nursing Home and Maternity Clinic,owned by
Dr Maya Kodnani who was arrested on Friday.
Even as a local court remanded her in four-day police custody,it is her image as a politician and not as a gynaecologist that dominates public psyche in the Saijpur Tower locality of Naroda: the place where Kodnanis clinic is located.
Most testify that she had abandoned active medical practice nearly eight years ago. But the maternity home which she has leased out to other doctors has a calling card still with her name Dr Mayaben Kodnani nu Davakhanu (Dr Mayaben Kodnanis hospital).
Kodnani has the infamous distinction of being the first minister to be arrested for her alleged involvement in the 2002 riots. She has been accused of conducting and instigating riots in the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam areas. Witnesses in the case have stated that they had seen Kodnani giving inflammable material and weapons to the rioters. One of the witnesses had even stated that she saw Kodnani firing at Muslims from a pistol-like weapon,which stands in stark contrast to her profession as gynaecologist. Kodnani,in her defence,had stated that on the fateful day of February 28,2002,she was at her clinic,contradicting the witness statement.
Her husband,Dr Surendra Kodnani,is a general physician who runs a separate clinic in the same locality. On Saturday,when The Indian Express visited her clinic,it was all vacant except for an old lady receptionist,Pannaben,who said the hospital had been given to Dr Parimal Panchal and his wife Dr Vaishali Panchal on rent by Kodnani two years ago. I saw her in the hospital only once a year, she said.
A call to Dr Panchal was answered by a nurse,Lata Gurjar,who said two years ago,Kodnani had been running the hospital in partnership with some other doctors. At that time,she used to come occasionally for special cases, said Gurjar. I can recall only one case when she had helped a woman in her delivery during an emergency. A doctor was not present in the hospital,so she had to attend to the case, she added.
Kodnanis hospital consists of two general wards (one each for men and women),two special rooms (one of them air-conditioned),an operation theatre,a storeroom and a small sitting room for patients attendants. Unlike Kodnani,her husband practices regularly at his clinic.
Pathologist Dr D L Bajaj,who runs Bajaj Pathology Laboratory in the vicinity,was all praise for Kodnani and said she was very helpful. He,however,said he is not aware about her medical practice,which she had discontinued almost a decade ago.
Bajaj said Dr Surendra Kodnani is a very caring doctor and gives concession to the BPL patients. Many times,I have seen even Muslims coming to his clinic. That surprises me the most, he added.