A pregnant woman in Andhra Pradesh who was being carried for several kilometres by her family members and villagers after she went into labour gave birth to her baby midway.
Visuals show Muthamma,a tribal woman in Vizianagaram district, being taken in a makeshift carriage made of bamboo poles, ropes and a piece of cloth. A group of men and women can be seen walking precariously in a forested area on a muddy road, full of stones, carrying Muthamma. She was carried in the makeshift palanquin for about 6 to 7 km.
When the woman reached a point where she could not take the pain anymore, the villagers had to stop their journey midway and help the woman deliver the baby.
The video was shot by a young man who said that they have written to several authorities about the lack of connectivity but no one has helped them so far. He makes a fervent plea to the authorities to provide them road access. "This is how we are forced to carry seriously ill or pregnant woman. No official or politician has bothered to help despite multiple pleas and appeals," the man says in the video that highlights the plight of tribals in Maasika Valasa Chintala Salur in Vizianagaram.
Behind him, Muthamma is seen sitting on the ground as three other women help her deliver the baby in the middle of nowhere. Another chilling clip shows two women cutting the umbilical cord of the newborn baby with a blade.
Integrated Tribal Development Area project officer Laxmisha said about 15 hamlets in the area did not have road connectivity. He said locals had been petitioning the government repeatedly and the government had responded too."About Rs 5.5 crore was sanctioned in October 2017 for a 9.8-km stretch of road in that rocky and hilly terrain. But no contractor has come forward to put tenders, so we were unable to get the work done,'' he said.
This is not an uncommon incident in the tribal region in Vizianagaram, which is marked by rough terrain and hardly any roads. In July, a five-month pregnant woman was carried by her husband and other villagers downhill for 12 km through a forest so she could make it to an ambulance on Monday. 25-year-old Jindamma, who was suffering labour pains, gave birth on the way. Her baby boy died before she could get to the ambulance.