Women brave arduous journeys to reach hospitals.
After walking down two hills, taking a boat across a huge reservoir and then finally travelling 30 km on bumpy country roads in a rickety autorickshaw, the actual process of giving birth was not difficult at all for 35-year-old Kusum Nayak.
The labour pains pale into insignificance for the pregnant women of 16 largely tribal villages under the N. Podapadar panchayat in Odisha’s Kalahandi district as they prepare to reach the nearest hospital 35 kms away.
“Labour and giving birth is one of the most exhilarating events in one’s life. However, we undergo an additional pain thanks to the lack of connectivity. The pain is worth taking if the baby is born healthy,” said Ms. Nayak, who gave birth to a baby girl at the Tentulikhunti Community Health Centre in Nabarangpur district.
Three men and four elderly…