Award Winning Living Florence Nightingale – TahiraHashim Ali Khan
Ms. Tahira Hashim Ali Khan was the only person from Andhra Pradesh to be awarded the Florence Nightingale National Award by the then President of India, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam at Rashrapati Bhavan on 12th May 2007 for her contribution to the nursing profession and dedicated service to the community. On the whole, 17 nurses were awarded for their distinguished services. The award was reinstated after a gap of 21 years.
Florence Nightingale served the wounded in the Crimean war in 1854 as a nurse and gave a lot of support to them both physically and spiritually. She dedicated herself to public service and set up several nursing training schools in the United Kingdom. In remembrance of her dedicated service to the nursing profession, her birthday on the 12th of May is celebrated as the International Day of Nurses.
Profile: Ms Tahira Hashim Ali Khan, a Hyderabadi, dedicated her life to the service of the community as a nurse. She was the Principal of College of Nursing at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (1959 to 1985) prior to her retirement. She was also the Superintendent of Health School in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and Assistant Superintendant of Niloufer Health School, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
Her background both personal and professional are impeccable. She is the daughter of Justice Hashim Ali Khan, who was a High Court Judge. She is the youngest in a family consisting of 6 daughters and a brother.
She completed her Bachelor of Science (Honors) from Delhi University and was awarded a scholarship at Boston University, USA by the W.H.O. for pursuing her Masters of Science in Nursing. Subsequently, she was awarded another scholarship for pursuing a M.A. in Administration at Teacher’s College, Columbia University by the U.S. Government, which again gave her another scholarship to pursue her Masters in Education.
Tahira has worked in the slums in Hyderabad as well as in Harlem, New York. She is very empathetic towards the poor. Even today at 78, she patiently listens to the problems of the poor and spends her time trying to educate a needy student. Her simplicity, charm, and gracefulness are very endearing.
She spends a lot of her time gardening and donates money generously to the downtrodden. The independent streak in her personality is indeed worth emulating. As a self-achiever, she inspires others to take up challenges in life with courage and conviction.