With The Positive Collective, The Better India’s COVID-19 coverage is available to regional language publications for free. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Yesterday morning, while the Super Cyclone Amphan was battering Odisha, 20-year-old Janaki Sethi from Kendrapara went into labour. Her husband Hatin Sethi was on the verge of losing hope when a group of people arrived at his doorstep as true messiahs.
When ambulance services failed to respond, Hatin had no choice but to contact the fire personnel, who rushed to the house at once to shift Janaki to the nearest health centre. But as fate would have it, Janaki delivered her baby on the way inside the fire service vehicle with all possible assistance from the team of firefighters.
Removing Obstacles on their Way
Around 6 AM on Wednesday, when the cyclone made landfall on the Odisha coast triggering heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and strong winds in the mainland, Hatin Sethi was in a tight spot.
With his wife in labour, Hatin kept on trying the ambulance helpline, but no vehicle was able to proceed in the storm as the road was blocked with uprooted trees. As a desperate last resort, Hatin Sethi contacted the Mahakalpada Fire Station and frantically requested their help to rush his wife to the Community Health Centre.
Upon receiving the call at around 9 AM, two fire service teams immediately set out towards the location. The team encountered 22 fallen trees en route, blocking their way. Without further delay, the firemen braved the cyclonic winds and pouring rains and removed the trees as fast they could and soon reached the couple’s home. They helped shift Janaki to their vehicle.
Both Mother and Child are Healthy
Despite no medical training, the firemen managed to keep her safe throughout the journey towards the medical centre. However, Janaki gave birth to a girl child on the way assisted by the team who tried to help her as much they could.
Afterwards, they took the newborn mother and daughter to the health centre where the doctors confirmed that both the mother and child were doing fine. The doctors lauded the prompt efforts of the fire department that saved two lives amid a catastrophe.
Hatin Sethi is immensely grateful towards the sincere dedication of the fire service personnel. “We were going to the hospital, but my wife gave birth to a baby girl in the vehicle. I was very nervous, but both of them are fine now and will be discharged from the hospital on Thursday,” Hatin told The New Indian Express over the phone.
Reportedly, as a priority measure, around 1,885 pregnant women were evacuated across Odisha before the cyclone, with the help of ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, the local police and disaster management teams.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)
Representative Featured Image Credits: Collector Kendrapara/Twitter