A 20-year-old pregnant woman was carried on a makeshift cloth stretcher for 8 km to reach a hospital in rural Madhya Pradesh. The villagers used shovels and spades to level out muddy patches to another village.
According to sources, when Sunita, a resident of Rajpura village in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh, went into labour on Thursday her family and neighbours were left with no other option but to carry her themselves to a nearby village since her forest hamlet has no road connecting it with a hospital.
Bundling her into a cloth tied to a bamboo pole on their shoulders, they carried her for 8 km to the Rani Kajal village that has a dirty track. An ambulance waiting at the village then took her to a hospital another 20 km away.
The Community Health Centre at Pansemal where she gave birth is 28 km away. And it is the nearest hospital to her village. However, there is no way to get there except by foot, locals say, in an egregious indictment of health services and connectivity in the farthest corners of the country.
While Sunita delivered her baby on Friday and both the mother and the child are doing fine, according to doctors, she could have been spared the inhumane experience had there been a hospital closer by or a better road.
According to residents of Rajpura, located nearly 400 km from Bhopal in the southeastern corner of Madhya Pradesh, applications for a road have been submitted to the public representatives of both the Congress and the BJP over the years but nothing has been done.