Image Source : AP Assam mother delivers baby on boat

A blue tarp shielded a mother and her newborn daughter from the relentless rain during their boat voyage. Jahanara Khatoon, 25, had delivered her baby on the boat en route to a healthcare centre, amidst the surging floodwaters of Assam’s Brahmaputra River. “I am overjoyed,” remarked her husband, Kamaluddin, who accompanied them. “While my wife wished for a son, Allah has blessed me with a daughter, and I am content. I have no desire for more children.”

India Tv -  Jahanara Khatoon, who is at full-term pregnancy, lies in pain with onset of labour as health office

Image Source : AP Jahanara Khatoon, who is at full-term pregnancy, lies in pain with onset of labour as health officers hold a tarpaulin to give her cover, over the River Brahmaputra

India Tv - A member of a medical team holds up the hand of Kamaluddin as they celebrate the successful delivery

Image Source : APA member of a medical team holds up the hand of Kamaluddin as they celebrate the successful delivery of his newborn baby girl on a boat on her way to a health centre

The couple had left their home on Phuliamari Char, one of the islands in the river, after it was inundated by floodwaters, taking shelter on a nearby island known as Chars. Khatoon and Kamaluddin earn their living as farmers on their island in Assam state’s Morigaon district.

VIDEO: Mother delivers baby on boat as her river island is inundated by floodwaters

A medical team was visiting flooded Chars to aid those who needed medical help, especially pregnant women. The team convinced Khatoon to travel with them to the nearest medical facility across the river.

India Tv - Diluwara Begum, a midwife, whispers prayers into the ear of a newborn baby she helped deliver on a b

Image Source : APDiluwara Begum, a midwife, whispers prayers into the ear of a newborn baby she helped deliver on a boat

India Tv - 25-year-old Jahanara Khatoon leaves a boat with her newborn baby, on their way to a health centre, i

Image Source : AP25-year-old Jahanara Khatoon leaves a boat with her newborn baby, on their way to a health centre, in Morigaon district

However, the baby couldn’t wait for Khatoon to get to the healthcare centre. As her labour progressed, the team on the boat quickly got to work, holding up a tarp to protect from the rain as they helped with the delivery. Within 10 minutes the baby emerged to shouts of celebration.

Moment: When auxiliary nurse and midwife, lifted the newborn 

Diluwara Begum, an auxiliary nurse and midwife, lifted the newborn and whispered prayers into her ears. “This was my first time helping deliver a baby on a boat. It was a very different feeling. It feels good.” she said. The family has named the baby Karima, which means “Giving.”

India Tv - Jahanara Khatoon nurses her newborn daughter, born on a boat over the river Brahmaputra, as the fami

Image Source : APJahanara Khatoon nurses her newborn daughter, born on a boat over the river Brahmaputra, as the family sits inside an ambulance on the way to a healthcare centre in Morigaon district

India Tv - Diluwara Begum, a midwife, holds up a newborn baby after helping in her delivery on a boat over the

Image Source : APDiluwara Begum, a midwife, holds up a newborn baby after helping in her delivery on a boat over the River Brahmaputra

Assam floods

Notably, Assam is seen as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change because of increasingly intense rain and floods, according to a 2021 report by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a New Delhi-based climate think tank. 

Increased rainfall in the region blamed on climate change has made the Brahmaputra River — already known for its powerful, unpredictable flow — even more dangerous for those who live near it or on the more than 2,000 islands in it.

Assam continues to grapple with a severe flood crisis, affecting 11.50 lakh people across 23 districts, as the water level of major rivers, including the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, flowing above the danger mark, an official report said.


The death toll in this year’s floods, landslides and storms has increased to 48.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the situation in the park and directed the authorities to take adequate precautions, including regulation of vehicular traffic on the national highway, to ensure that wildlife is not harmed.

 

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Assam continues to reel under severe floods; death count reaches 38, over 11 lakh people affected