CHENNAI: In a situation reminiscent of the Aamir Khan-starrer Three Idiots where internet was used to deliver a baby, a group of youngsters helped a pregnant woman in Ramapuram deliver twins with the help of social media.
Her delivery was due on Saturday. But, Lakshmi (name changed) experienced labour pains two days ahead of it and needed immediate help. She was stuck in her house located at Kalasthamman Koil Street, which was submerged due to the floods in the nearby the Adyar. It was almost impossible for an ambulance to enter the street to take her to the nearest hospital for delivery.
That’s where Facebook came into play. Lakshmi’s friend had posted about this on her Facebook page around 6 am, which was soon shared by thousands in various groups and pages.
Navin Pannerselvam who works in a private firm in London, picked this alert from one of the groups.
“Seeing the message that a lady was nearing delivery pain, I tried calling numbers in the volunteers list shared in WhatsApp but most of them were not reachable,” he told Express. After hours of struggle, Navin got in touch with a volunteer in Guindy who in turn informed his friends in Ramapuram.
These people rushed to the spot with the help of a Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue team. “As finding a gynaecologist at the point of time was difficult, the volunteers with the help of the firemen helped the delivery process at her home. It was a twin birth!”
A senior fireman in Poonamallee fire station, who was part of the rescue team, told Express, “We got a call while we were rescuing people near Ramapuram Main Road and since the woman was in first floor, it was almost impossible to bring her down.”
Firemen then carried an armchair and a tub used to supply food through a small door in the ground floor, which helped the woman during the delivery.
The team shared the pictures of the twins on the same Facebook page, which helped helped her in the hour of emergency.
This was not the only case of social media helping rescue and delivery in Chennai floods, as the same team rescued two other pregnant woman on the same day.
Several obstetricians and gynecologists across the city also extended a helping hand by visiting flood affected areas and relief camps so that pregnancy-related complications could be avoided. C Ashok Kumar, a gynaecologist who was helping people here said, “Just like in countries like Philippines, pregnant woman in India should also be educated on how to handle deliveries during emergencies and medical college students. Paramedical staff and police should also be trained on disaster preparedness for pregnant woman.”