Friday, January 24, 2020
Follow us on

38-year-old pregnant with 17th child puts officials on high alert Lankatai Kharat from Beed weighs just 45 kg and is at risk of haemorrhaging

September 12, 2019 06:19 AM


38-year-old pregnant with 17th child puts officials on high alert
Lankatai Kharat from Beed weighs just 45 kg and is at risk of haemorrhaging


The Majalgaon block officials in Maharashtra’s Beed district are working overtime to save the life of a 38-yearold pregnant woman. Lankatai Kharat, who is carrying her 17th child, has never had an institutional delivery in any of her pregnancies and, this time, the officials are determined she reaches the hospital, on time.

Last year, her husband Maloji had helped her with the delivery. The child, a malnourished boy, did not live beyond five months.

“This time there is a threat to her life,” said Anil Pardesi, the block medical officer at Majalgaon, about 434 km from Mumbai. “We have been trying to convince her to visit a hospital, get check-ups done routinely, provide her with medicines, and get all the tests done to ensure a smooth and safe delivery.”

There is some discrepancy on the number of pregnancies she has had. While Kharat has informed the doctors at one of the primary health centres in Majalgaon that she had delivered 16 children until last year, her mother-in-law Nadarbai claims the figure is in fact 20. Whatever the exact number, only 11 of the children – two boys and nine girls – have survived, while the rest were lost to miscarriages or post-birth complications.

Hers is not a record though. Bismillah, a woman from Haryana’s Nuh, said to be one of the most backward districts in the country, had given birth to her 23rd child in 2007.

This time, the frequency and the number of deliveries have taken a toll on Kharat who weighs a mere 45 kgs. She is at a high risk of post-partum haemorrhage, which accounts for 25.7 per cent of maternal deaths in India, and two-thirds of them happen within hours of delivery.

On Wednesday, Kharat agreed to go to a hospital for her delivery in the presence of a social worker. The change of heart did not come easily.

On Tuesday, doctors at the Beed Civil hospital were forced to discharge her as she refused to cooperate with a female gynaecologist, who had come to examine her. “She would not stay in the room, twice she walked out,” said Pardesi. “She did not answer the questions and refused physical examination.”

The block administration, alerted about her condition by a local social worker Sattayabhama Saundarmal, sent a medical team to the makeshift tent where she has been staying since September 6.

By then she had already left for the daily round of rag-picking. The next morning the health team was back earlier than usual and took her for a check-up, which included an ultrasonography that confirmed she was 28-weeks pregnant. On Tuesday they had fixed an appointment at the Beed hospital for more tests. “The doctor at Beed told me I was under stress,” Kharat said on Wednesday, after a day’s work of picking rags from the streets and selling them. “I realised I was worried about my children… what would happen to them if I die. That thought has been bothering me for some time.”

Two weeks back, Kharat had fainted on her daily rounds at the nearby village of Kesapuri.

Her earnings, anything from Rs 100 to Rs 300 on a good day, is what the family depends on for the daily provisions. A part of it also goes into the husband’s daily quota of alcohol.

That was one of the reasons why Kharat refused to be admitted at the Beed hospital. “If I stay at the hospital what will my children eat?” she asked.

The men usually try to earn by offering camel rides to children and singing songs of BR Ambedkar (the Kharats belong to a sub-caste of the Mahars), but the income is measly, while the women and children work to make ends meet. None of the Kharat children have attended school. One son, Lakhan, is already the father of three at the age of 21.

Keeping Kharat’s situation in mind, Majalgaon’s Block Development Officer BT Chavan has issued a ration card to her on Wednesday with a quota of 5 kgs of grains, oil and salt.

“We are doing everything within our means to help her sustain during pregnancy,” said Chavan. “The health department is taking care of the medical facilities, while we will supply the ration to ensure she does not have to worry about the next meal.”

The medical team from the primary health centre – Majalgaon has five PHCs and two rural hospitals – visits her every day. Pardesi will keep an ambulance exclusively for her as the due date approaches.

If Kharat had refused hospitalisation, the block health department had kept the option of seeking the district magistrate’s intervention to counsel Kharat and, if required, force her into institutional delivery.


Have something to say? Post your comment
More National News
AMU छात्र संघ के पूर्व अध्यक्ष फैजुल हसन के खिलाफ FIR दर्ज, विवादित बयानों का वीडियो वायरल IED लगाने वाले आदित्य राव को क्राइम सीन रिक्रिएट करने के लिए लाया गया मंगलुरु एयरपोर्ट बच्चों को कभी मेहनत से पीछे नहीं हटना चाहिए- PM मोदी समाज, राष्ट्र और ड्यूटी के लिए आपको समर्पित देखकर गर्व है: PM मोदी सावरकर को गलत तरीके से पेश करने की हो रही कोशिश, सेलुलर जेल में रहे थे बंदः उपराष्ट्रपति SCO की बैठक में हिस्सा लेने भारत नहीं आएंगे पाकिस्तानी प्रधानमंत्री इमरान खानः सूत्र CAA-NRC पर हो रहे विरोध के बीच बोले प्रणब मुखर्जी- भारतीय लोकतंत्र को परखा गया बार-बार करगिल युद्ध के हीरो लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल वाई. के. जोशी बनाए गए सेना की उत्तरी कमान के चीफ पूर्व राष्ट्रपति प्रणब मुखर्जी बोले- विरोध प्रदर्शन से लोकतंत्र की जड़ होगी मजबूत नालासोपारा हथियार मामला: महाराष्ट्र ATS ने पश्चिम बंगाल से प्रताप हजारा को किया गिरफ्तार