Jharkhand: Teen delivers baby on street, health centre staff turn their back
A 17-year-old girl delivered a baby on a busy street in Jharkhand’s Chandil town on Tuesday morning, barely 100 steps from the nearest community health centre.
Om Prakash Sharma, a resident out for morning walk around 4am, noticed her on the street with a newborn in her lap, the umbilical cord still attached and her clothes drenched in blood.
“She was in a miserable state. She was shivering and unable to lift and cuddle her infant. Heavy vehicles were crossing by but she didn’t have strength to move aside,” he said.
“Eventually, we put roadblocks around her and approached the CHC to take away the mother-child. Their response was irritating.”
The medical staff allegedly ignored the exhausted teen mother writhing with her newborn daughter.
According to eyewitnesses, nurses at the health centre declined to move out, saying they need permission from their bosses as well as the girl’s family before admitting her.
When the people pleaded and plodded them to help, they allegedly said the residents will have to arrange her transportation as the ambulance driver was not available.
The delay and “excuses” enraged the people. They created a ruckus and called police, prompting Dr Lakhindra Hansda of the hospital to rush out and cut the child’s umbilical cord.
People hailed an autorickshaw and took them to the hospital, where they were admitted finally after two hours of dillydallying. Hansda said the mother and child are stable and would be kept under observation for two days.
The people stormed civil surgeon Dr AP Sinha’s office over the callous attitude of the hospital staff. He assured action for the carelessness.
The girl is from Ruchab village under Chandil block, around 100km east of Ranchi. She is an unwed mother and her family had driven her out after discovering her pregnancy.
For the past four months, people had noticed her loitering on the streets and surviving on alms.
The girl told reporters that she was in love with a villager but he dumped her when she got pregnant.
Her ordeal worsened when her mother drove her away fearing social stigma and pressure from community leaders. Her father died a few years ago.
Hospital authorities said in case nobody turns up from her family, they will consult NGOs to take care of the mother and child after they are discharged from hospital.