Razia Mir obituary

Other lives: Doctor who left rural Pakistan to make a new life in Britain

My mother, Razia Mir, who has died aged 75, had a 40-year career as a doctor in Glasgow and London after leaving rural Pakistan.

Razia would often recount the culture shock of living and working in 1960s Scotland, where she encountered much prejudice in her early years as a junior doctor. She was often told to “go home” by staff and patients, and would reply, at first in innocence and then with a dry sense of humour, that she would be “finishing her shift soon”.

Born in Multan, in the Punjab region of what was British India (it became part of Pakistan after partition in 1947), Razia was the youngest child of six. Her father, Mian Bukhsh, was a mango farmer and her mother, Fateh Khatoon, a midwife.

She attended Multan public school and college for girls, after which, determined to become a doctor, from 1960 she took a horse-drawn cart to the nearby Nishtar Medical College and Hospital, to study for a five-year medicine degree.

In 1965 she had an arranged marriage to a doctor from Lahore, Saboor Mir. After a couple of months they decided to leave Pakistan for the UK. They arrived in Glasgow on Christmas Eve, Razia wearing her finest sari, unaware of how cold it would be. They settled in Bearsden.

Razia’s first job, in 1966, was as house physician at the Vale of Leven district general hospital in West Dunbartonshire. Until 1968 she held various positions, as an obstetrics and gynaecology intern at Robroyston hospital, senior house officer at Redlands hospital for women and registrar for bacteriology at Western infirmary, all in Glasgow.

She then studied for a master’s in immunology at the University of Glasgow, which she completed in 1971, and the family moved to Northwood, north-west London. Razia worked in partnership with her husband at an NHS practice in South Oxhey, Watford, as a GP specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology. In 2003 she became a locum doctor.

Later she was “Nani” to seven grandchildren. But in 2015 her role as a grandmother and GP was curtailed when she was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy.

Last year, on the 50th anniversary of the partition of India, Razia’s experience, along with others, was documented in the BBC2 programme Partition: The Legacy of the Line, created by her nieces Uzma Mir-Young and Aasmah Mir.

She is survived by Saboor, her children, Saqib, Sadaf and me, and grandchildren, Gabriela, Sancho, Catalina, Santiago, Benjamin, Samuel and Alexander.

Sabuhi Gard

The GuardianTramp

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