With babies in tow, these helpless migrant women have nowhere to go

Marcos Gonsalves
Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Devati along with Sapana Yadav (23) and Sitaro Devi (20) are the three women who are pregnant and presently stranded at Margao due to the lockdown in the wake of COVID1-19. 

MARGAO: "I am pregnant and I have no shelter. No proper medical facility. I don't know what will happen if this lockdown continues. I am with no medicines for the last two months. I want to go home", Devati Yadav (20) told GT. 

Devati along with Sapana Yadav (23) and Sitaro Devi (20) are the three women who are pregnant and presently stranded at Margao due to the lockdown in the wake of COVID1-19. 
Altogether 12 to 15 families, which include around 20 children and three pregnant women have taken shelter in an open space in the Konkan Railway compound at Margao. They are all natives of Madhya Pradesh and they were left behind due to lack of place in Shramik special trains. 

What shocking was that all the three pregnant women and besides another woman, who gave birth to a baby girl during the lockdown period are facing lot of hardships with regard to medical care and nutrition. Going further Devati doesn't know properly which month she got pregnant and when she was expected the delivery. "The medicine which I had is almost finished and if the lockdown continued and if we are not able to return back home, then I may fall in trouble", she said.

Sitaro Devi, a first-time pregnant said that they had come to Goa just a few days before the lockdown. "I had visited the doctor at the time when I was in my native place. But now I am fearing that life of mine and my baby is in danger as there is no medicine left with me. I am also lacking proper nutrition. I don't know what to do next", she expressed. 

The story of Sapana Yadav is also the same as Sitaro. "Due to lockdown and no proper facilities, I am feeling insecure. I may face a tough time if I am not able to return back to my native State. There is no train to go back to Madhya Pradesh and hence we are left behind with no shelter and no medical facilities", she stated. 

On the other hand, Aarti Yadav (23), who gave birth to a baby during lockdown period at Marcel. But, she has no documents about the same. Her poor diet had affected breastfeeding.

Presently, the three pregnant women along with mother of two-month0old baby, besides all those 15 families are pleading for help to return back to their native State. They are facing a tough time dealing with the situation as they have no education and have no money for food. 

But the organisation called 'Beyond Borders' and other volunteers have come together to support them with not just by providing rations, funding, and help with regard to registrations in the Goa portal but also with the medical services. 

Speaking to GT, Dr Prafullata Rajput, Executive Director Beyond Borders who is also practising ayurveda, said that she is trying to help these women in all possible ways. 

"I am more worried about the health of these pregnant women who are taking shelter in an open space. Because of lockdown these pregnant women were unable to visit the doctor and take the medications which are required for them at this stage of pregnancy. For the last one-month, they are completely without medicines", said Dr Rajput. 

Dr Rajput said that she was in touch with other volunteers providing help to them. "I will see that some medicines are provided to them until they return back to their native place. And for the child who has born in this lockdown period, besides child-mother requires some nutrition. We are planning to give some multi-vitamins to them." 

Arunabha Pal, Director and CEO of Beyond Borders said that they run the independent organisation which tries to help people in humanitarian ways and added that they will help them to return to their native State. 

"What we have seen in this lockdown period is that there is a total mess in handling the situation arisen out of COVID-19 crisis. There are ways to find solutions and several organisations like us are ready to help to resolve the problems. At the moment we trying to help these migrants by making the government authorities aware of their situations. We are there to support these people and also to the government authorities", he said.

When contacted, Margao Additional Collector Surendra Naik said that the administration will find out the way to help these stranded migrants. 

"I will inform this to the nodal officer Ajit Panchwadkar to help these stranded families especially with regard to pregnant women", Naik said. 

Presently, 644 persons have been quarantined at various residencies and hotels.

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