The nationwide lockdown has curtailed the movement of people even in an emergency situation. One can only imagine what pregnant women across the country are having to deal with as we battle novel coronavirus. But Udaipur Police have started a Whatsapp group, "Hello Mommies", and added pregnant women of the city.
At least 150 women are currently on the group and some of them have already received help in reaching hospitals without any hassle.
Gopal Swaroop Mewar, Additional Superintendent of Police, floated the idea and asked three of his officers -– Chetna Bhati, Prema Dhande and Sudha Palawat –- to implement it.
These three deputy superintendents in various police departments are also in the group to facilitate quick help.
“I read a newspaper report about how lady constables helped a woman deliver a baby at a public place in an emergency situation. This made me think the challenges that a pregnant lady might face during a lockdown,” Mewar said.
Bhati, who is in-charge of Women Cell, suggested the name of the group, "Hello Mommies", and circulated it to every area which is under strict curfew.
“We asked all constables, nursing staff and health care workers in curfew-hit areas to identify pregnant ladies and compile their data,” Bhati said.
Initially, they started with three local police station areas - Ghantaghar, Surajpur and Dhanmandi - but as soon as the news spared, requests poured in from other parts of the city as well.
A request by a prenant woman on the group.
A police response to the request on the group.
“A couple of officers -- a lady constable Chandra Kanwar and two male constables Jayawardhan Singh and Dinesh, who are also part of "Hello Mommies", played a significant role in ensuring women get help in no time,” Bhati said.
Palawat, deputy superintendent, traffic says a sense of comfort and safety is more important than physical help.
“Expecting mothers have a constant mental pressure; what if they fail to reach the hospital or get the medical attention at the eleventh hour. Once they join the group, it soothes their nerves and they feel at ease,” Palawat said.
Bhati said women drop the request in the group with their vehicle numbers and we alert the local police, who assist them.
“We, too, keep dropping messages in the group and ask if they need any medicine etc,” she added.