When 26-year-old Yasmin Khatoon boarded a Shramik Special train on May 22 in Surat, Gujarat, with her husband and other family members, she developed labour pain on way to her village in Bihar. But she had no access to any medical assistance in the running train. As the train kept crossing stations, her pain continued to grow unbearable.
“We could have pulled the chain anywhere but we decided to wait for a reasonably big station so that she could get some medical assistance,” Mohammad Qurban, Khatoon’s husband, who is still in the train, told Outlook over the phone.
When Khatoon's pain became unbearable, the train almost touched the Agra Fort station. Qurban was aware that the train didn’t have any scheduled stoppage there, so he immediately pulled the chain.
Before the train came to a halt, he ran out of the compartment and immediately informed a Railway Protection Force personnel deployed at the station. The RPF man alerted the deputy station supervisor who asked a doctor of the Indian Railways, Pulkita Kapil, to attend to her.
Dr. Pulkita Kapil
Since the Railways Hospital was at the walking distance from the station, Dr Kapil with two paramedic staffs rushed into the compartment within a few minutes.
“I breathed a sigh of relief when I looked at her. For me, she was like a goddess at that moment. They were extremely cooperative and attended me very nicely,” Khatoon said.
Dr Kapil said that when she met Khatoon, she initially decided to take her to the hospital. But on the preliminary investigation, she realised that it was not possible as the child was almost on its way out.
“We got her compartment vacated and used a bed sheet to partition it. She delivered the baby without much hassle. Fortunately, there was no complication at all,” Dr Kapil said.
“Hats off to her resilience that within ten minutes after delivering the baby, she sat on her seat and looked normal,” Dr Kapil added.
She gave Khatoon some medicines and injection so that she could complete her remaining journey without any health complication.
“I advised the family to take medical assistance if required at any station on the way,” Dr Kapil said.
Khatoon said that she had never ever imagined that she would give birth to a child on a train. “I haven’t named him yet,” she said when asked if she has thought of any name for the newborn.
The train, which stopped at the station at 2:00 PM, started off at 3:21 as everything finished in 1 hour and 21 minutes.
Qurban informed that his wife didn’t need any medical help after that and everything was all right. He was traveling with 12 other family members and relatives.
“I work in an embroidery factory in Surat but due to lockdown I had no work for two months. I was penniless and it was difficult to survive further,” Qurban said.
“We were very much distressed knowing the difficulties during travelling, why would anyone take his pregnant wife on such a long journey to the village?” Qurban asked.
His train will terminate at Nawada and from there he still has to travel about 200 kilometers.