Migrant worker from Assam gives birth in Bengal on Mother’s Day, names boy Covid
Aklima Bibi and her husband Ataur Rahman, who left Assam to work as daily-wage labourers in neighbouring north Bengal, are eagerly waiting to return home in a state government vehicle soon amid the easing of lockdown restrictions, which were enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
It is a privilege stranded migrants seldom enjoy. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in Bengal has, however, decided to make an exception because the couple will be carrying Covid, their first child born on Sunday morning, back home.
The state government will bear all the hospital expenses for the birth of Covid in a bid to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Bibi (21), who was in her advanced stage of pregnancy, was stopped, along with her husband and some other labourers, on Sunday, when they were found trying to sneak into Assam on the back of a truck.
Police personnel, who had stopped the vehicle at Ethelbari checkpoint in Bengal’s Alipurduar district, and some healthcare staff rushed Bibi to Birpara General Hospital in central Dooars, as she was writhing in labour pain. The doctors and nurses at the hospital named the baby boy Covid after the raging pandemic that has brought life to a standstill across the world.
The labourers were travelling from Jalpaiguri district’s Binnaguri to Bhumabari in lower Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
“Some police personal and healthcare staff took Bibi to the hospital, where the baby was born,” said Amitava Maity, superintendent of police (SP), Alipurduar.
“We contacted the Kokrajhar SP immediately after we stopped the truck. It’s a proud moment for us, as we could help a woman give birth to a baby on Mother’s Day,” said Maity.
Covid’s parents are impressed with the West Bengal Police.
“My wife could give birth safely because the police helped us. They gave us baby soaps, clothes, food and some money as well. I shall never forget their kind gesture,” said Rahman. “We had a wrong notion about policemen. Sunday’s incident has changed that perception for good,” he added.
“The baby was born at 11.25am on Sunday, and weighs 2.44 kg. The mother and the baby are doing fine. All hospital expenses are being borne by the state health department,” said Puran Sharma, chief medical officer of health, Alipurduar district.
“The state administration will send the couple home in an ambulance after the woman gets discharged from the hospital,” said a senior district official, who did not want to be identified.
The other stranded labourers have been sent to Assam.