23-year-old Sangita Harijan is from Palhinandan Rural Municipality in Nawalparasi District. She is from a Terai Dalit* community. She and her husband earn daily wages for their livelihood.
When Sangita was pregnant with her second child, she started labour pains during her seventh month of pregnancy. She was taken to the nearest Health Centre by her husband and was admitted for a night. When the labour pains became prolonged with more complications, her condition worsened. She was then referred to be taken to the Universal College of Medical Sciences in Bhairahawa – a city in a neighbouring district - as soon as possible. But the family didn't have enough money in hand for the travel, so they were not able to take Sangita right away.
Fortunately, UMN’s Integrated Rural Community Health Project has a provision to support the transportation costs during an obstetric emergency for a poor Dalit woman like Sangita. So, after completing the short fund-requesting process, the nursing staff of Palhi Health Centre provided the transportation cost of the ambulance to Sangita's family.
Sangita’s husband Ashok Harijan cheerfully shared, “The support provided by UMN’s partner INDRENI helped us a lot in our difficult situation. If we had not received the support, we would not have been able to hire an ambulance in such a critical time and I couldn’t imagine the situation of my wife and our child.”
As a result of immediate support provided to Sangita and her family, they managed to go to the hospital and she delivered a baby boy. During further follow-up we came to know that the baby was kept in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the condition of mother and child was out of danger. She returned to the hospital after a few days. After coming back home Sangita shared, “I am very thankful for the support, which saved me and my child.”
*So-called lower caste and living in the flat land bordering India.