GUWAHATI: At a time the media is both under the scanner and under pressure, it is certainly good to hear the story Assam woman named her newborn son Sangbadik (journalist).
It was thanks to two young journalists of Majuli that the mother’s life was saved. As a gesture of gratitude, the woman, Aimoni Payeng, named her child Sangbadik.
The 18-year-old delivered the infant on the banks of a river under stormy conditions on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, she was taken to the Garmur Pitambar Dev Goswami Civil Hospital in Majuli but the doctors there advised her to go back home saying the delivery was expected only after four-five days.
The distance between Pathrisuk village in Lakhimpur district, where Aimoni stays, and the hospital is barely four kilometers. However, the absence of a road makes travelling difficult. Adding to the woes is a river which flows along the way.
“As advised, she was returning home in a boat but suddenly she started experiencing labour pain. This made us to decide on taking her back to the hospital. However, she delivered on the riverbank soon after reaching there,” the woman’s uncle, Mukheswar Chirang, told TNIE.
The two journalists helped in mobilizing local women to ensure a safe delivery and taking the woman and the newborn to the hospital.
Chirang was effusive in her praise of the two scribes for all their “help” and for highlighting the plight of the locals.
“With the help of the two journalists, we arranged some CGI sheets to protect her from the storm. The journalists also took the lead in taking Aimoni and her son to the hospital. It is heartening that they have been for long reporting on such sensitive issues,” Chirang said.
He also said that some 25,000 people lived in villages in the area but there was neither any ambulance service nor road. There have been numerous instances when women delivered on boats, he said.
“When the child grows up, we will tell him why he was named Sangbadik. We will tell him to give such services to people. We want him to become a journalist and raise such key issues,” he added.
One of the scribes, Sanjit Borah, said he had rushed to the site on being informed of the plight of a pregnant woman.
“I saw the woman writhing in pain. As it was raining heavily, we thought we must first protect her life. We quickly arranged some CGI sheets to protect her from the rains and storm. After she had delivered the kid, we took her to the hospital,” he said.
The people in Majuli, which Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal represents, and its surrounding areas have been plagued by communication bottlenecks and lack of facilities for long. There have been numerous cases where journalists took the lead in rushing pregnant women and sick people to hospitals.
Last month, a family named their newborn daughter “Newsmoni” as a gesture of gratitude after some reporters took the woman to a hospital braving the odds. Moni in Assamese means ‘apple of the eye’ or ‘gem’. Thus, the name of the girl means ‘Gem of a news’.