CHENNAI: When Zyna Beevi migrated to the city as a casual labourer, she would have never thought of taking a boat to get to a maternity hospital, let alone consider giving birth on one!
But, on December 1, a pregnant Zyna and her husband, Alaudin, lost everything to the flood and getting to a hospital seemed a far cry.
Instead, the couple took refuge in a house at Sathyamoorthy Nagar off Tiruvottiyur and stayed there hoping against hope for a rescue team to arrive soon. It quickly became evident to Alaudin that no ambulance would be able to reach the heavily inundated area. A day had passed in waiting. The next day, when he couldn’t wait any longer, Alaudin left his wife’s side, desperately looking for help.
“A man came wading through chest deep water yelling for help for his pregnant wife whose amniotic fluid was released,” recalls SM Nazar, Tiruvallur East district secretary of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK). Nazar, who was part of the rescue teams which worked in full swing in the worst-hit Tiruvottiyur pocket, narrates “We turned our boat towards his direction and sent in people to carry the woman to the boat.” And they were just in time, because seconds later, she shrieked in pain and cried aloud. The other women in the boat announced that a new baby boy had arrived on board! After Zyna Beevi delivered the baby, both the mother and the infant were taken inside the house from where she had come from, and the conventional first aid was provided by the women present.
Meanwhile, the MMK men had organised an ambulance for the mother and baby stationed at Ernavoor Bridge, the point to which the boat could sail in the flood waters. half-an-hour later, both mother and her newborn were taken there in the same boat.