In a incident that would put many to shame, a young woman delivered a baby in a Mumbai local train while the fellow passengers just stood there and watched while she went into labour.
The incident took place mid-afternoon on Tuesday when Ramlal Pal and his nine-months pregnant wife Sudevi boarded the Mumbai local from Kalyan for KEM Hospital.
Little did they know that their first child would be born in the same train. Soon after the train chugged off, Sudevi went into labour and started writhing in pain. But even as Sudevi started to cry in pain pleading for help, her plea fell to deaf ears as fellow co-passengers were taken aback by the sudden situation and chose to distance themselves from the couple. While rest of the passengers just stood there and looked, Iqbal Ansari, a reporter with Urdu newspaper ‘Inquilab’, who was also travelling in the same compartment, immediately stepped forward and started to do whatever he can to help the couple. He immediately called the railway authorities informing them about the situation. By that time Sudevi had already delivered her baby in the train. Recalling the incident Ansari said that he had caught the train from Mumbra at 3.28 pm and was sitting just behind the couple. When the train had reached Bhandup, Ansari heard a commotion and turned to see why people in the train had deserted a section of the compartment.
Ansari then recalled seeing Ramlal sitting with a baby boy in his hand, covered in blood, with his wife lying on the seat having just delivered.
Surprised by what he saw, Ansari was even more shocked that no one had stepped forward to help the couple, he said:
“No one was ready to help the couple and everyone, including a few women, only watched them. I asked Ramlal about the situation and he told me that his wife had just delivered a baby.”
Ansari then went on to call the railways helpline number 1276, but to no avail as the number was unreachable. Assessing the situation, Ansari then dialled the second helpline number 9833331111.
He explained the situation to the attendant on the other end who immediately asked Ansari the train’s current location, it’s timing and explained to him the next possible station where help could be arranged. Talking about the call, Ansari said:
“The train had left Bhandup, so they asked me to pull the chain at Kanjurmarg station. As soon as the train entered the station, I pulled the chain and within a few moments, railway porters, along with the stationmaster, reached the compartment with stretchers.”
While the co-passengers had initially just stood there and watched, it was only after Ansari’s initiative did they step forward to help.
When the stretcher arrived at the train compartment, few women helped carry the mother on the stretcher, along with the baby, all the while the umbilical cord was still attached. They were then taken to nearby Rajawadi Hospital for further treatment where the baby and mother both are said to be fine. Recalling the horrific journey Ramlal was thankful for the fact that at least Ansari stepped up and took charge, he said:
“I am eternally thankful to Ansari, who came to help us in the moment of need while everybody else was just watching us. By God’s grace, both the mother and baby are perfectly fine. I’ll never forget what Ansari did for our family.”
While Ramlal was all praises for Ansari, the correspondent said that he was only helping a fellow human being in need. He said:
“The couple was vulnerable with no idea what to do. I only did the needful or what any other person, present in the compartment, could’ve done. I am happy that the family welcomed their baby boy jubilantly.”
Later in the day Central Railway made an announcement with regards to the incident and said:
“Today (Tuesday) at around 3 pm, a 32-year-old woman gave birth to a baby boy in a CST slow train. As soon as we got the news, help was sent to the station. A female home guard and a male constable from the station transported the lady to Rajawadi Hospital.”
Just a few weeks ago, during Ganesh Chaturthi, a few female devotees had helped a Muslim woman deliver her baby
when she went into labour before a Ganesh temple.