DIGBOI, June 19 - In a rare incident, a woman passenger on her way to Arunachal Pradesh on a Shramik Special train gave birth to a baby girl on Thursday. The train was scheduled to reach Guwahati on Friday evening.
Surjo Mala Chakma gave birth to a girl at 11.55 am on Thursday near the New Jalpaiguri Station in West Bengal.
According to Sujikko Chakma, a co-passenger from among the 150 Chakmas returning home to Arunachal Pradesh from Tamil Nadu, the woman’s labour pain suddenly started and subsequently she gave birth on the running train.
Wife of Biro Kumar Chakma from Jyostnapur at Diyun in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, the brave mother showed exemplary courage at a time when no immediate health services or relief measures could be provided inside the train. This is their first baby.
For the past one year, the husband-wife duo were working as tailor-helpers in a company in Tamil Nadu. Due to the countrywide lockdown, they became jobless and after having exhausted all their hard-earned savings, they were forced to return home as they had no options left.
“Fortunately, the delivery took place before they reached New Jalpaiguri Station, where a medical team was waiting. The mother was administered necessary injection, and given medicines, fluids and food, and the baby’s health was also assessed,” the co-passenger said.
Sujikko Chakma, who hails from Dharmapur III village under Diyun Circle, said that both the newborn and the mother were in good health and continued on their journey home.
Several people from the Chakma community are working across India, as there are little or no employment opportunities in the state. Land allotment to the Chakmas was given only once in the 1970s when the total Chakma population was just around 30,000, which has now gone up to 65,000. A major chunk of the Chakma community in Changlang district have been accommodated in a government-demarcated settlement area in Diyun.