Medically speaking, in-vitro fertilisation, or IVF, is a procedure that can help couples who are not able to have children because of a fertility disorder. But for Bhim Singh, 65, and his wife Krishna, 63, it’s a boon that has brought back their only child.
Krishna gave birth to a baby boy around 10 weeks ago. “We lost our son in a road accident in 1995, when he was just 21. On December 12, 2011, we felt him in our arms again when my wife became a mother again,” said Bhim Singh, a retired teacher from Rohtak, at a press conference held here on Wednesday.
The conference was primarily meant to urge the authorities to take some steps that curb road crash deaths, but the larger issue attracted more scrutiny. A reporter asked Bhim Singh, who married Krishna in 1964, the harsh but practical question — Who will bring up the child once they’re gone? Bhim Singh had a ready answer, “Ours is a joint family. The child will find all the love and care that he needs. But we do hope to live long enough to see him grow up to be 21.”
It was easy to follow it up with another straight query – Why not adopt a child, perhaps from within the joint family?
The answer was not as easy, but straight from the heart, “I understand what you are saying, but it’s hard to explain our feelings. For years after our son’s death, we felt a void in the house, in our hearts. Nothing but a child of our own would have filled that void.”
He thanked Dr Anurag Bishnoi of the private hospital, National Fertility Centre in Hisar, who made their dream come true.
“We heard of IVF some years ago, and that rekindled our hopes. I can’t thank the doctors enough,” Bhim Singh added.
NOT THE ONLY ONES
“It is not just Bhim Singh and Krishna who have opted for IVF technique after losing their child in an accident. Several other old couples have opted for the procedure. It is an emotional decision, but they mostly have all the practical aspects covered,” Dr MR Bishnoi, director of National Fertility Centre, told the media.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that Indian accounts for 10% of the 1.3 million road accident deaths every year across the world. We should have sympathy for these couples,” he added.
The brand ambassador of IVF in Haryana is Rajo Devi, who gave birth to a baby girl at the age of 70 few years ago. The government encourages IVF to also curb the age-old traditions like visiting godmen who would fleece childless couples.
As for some couples being too old, Bhim Singh’s joint family logic holds weight, and that is perhaps why most such cases come from rural areas where the joint family tradition is still alive.
SAVE LIVES, CM URGED
Bhim Singh and Krishna have now written to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, urging him to curb rash driving, and also put a check on unauthorised public transport. They also appealed to the youth to avoid rash driving. “We just want that nobody loses their child to a road crash, and will do our best to spread awareness,” said Bhim Singh.