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Our Bureau /
Government of Chhattisgarh claimed that ongoing road construction in the Maoists ravaged inaccessible parts in the district have become the bone of contention as the rebels oppose it because apprehending the increasing of movements of security personnel. On the otherhand , local news papers while quoting rebel’s sources alleged that construction of roads mostly in forest areas are done to transport forest and other resources in more easy way and the government has accelerated such process just to help the corporate and big industry houses. The government of Chhattisgarh has leased out such places to the corporate or the big industries for extracting the natural resources.
In Maoists ravaged inaccessible parts at eastern Bihar districts, mafias- Maoists nexus are enjoying the forest products and the other natural resources. But as per as road is concerned, even after the long years of Independence, denizens yet not seen any pacca roads in the areas. Today we are projecting the plights and miseries of especially the rural women who perhaps are the most sufferers here :-
Where rural women have to walk on foot to deliver their babies
Banka/Lakhisarai : Sunita Marandi (name changed) of Jhiktivaran village experienced the worst in her life : she had a miscarriage in her early pregnancy. She developed a complication during her 7 month’s pregnancy and in a fateful day when she started her walk on foot to reach nearby doctor available some 13 km away from her village to have proper treatment, the mishap had taken place in the road in a remote village in Banka district.
“It was a horrible experience, since there was no transportation facility, I was walking amid the extreme pain and profuse bleedings. And finally I fell on the ground and did not save my baby,” the 31 year-old homemakers’ narration easily could upset any one.
Similarly, Arjun Turi of Chilkara village lost his wife when she died mainly due to not availability of proper treatment during advance pregnancy in February last. Buddhan Yadav of another remote village Lakhisarai had to witness the death of his wife, Roopkumari (21) in 2016 in lack of any medical facility.
The family members of the victims in the three remote villages located at Naxalite infected Bounsi block, some 75 kn south of Banka district headquarter and under Surajgarha in Lakhisarai district had blamed the fates but most say it was lack of proper transport to a health center, which caused such mishaps.
“I failed to manage any vehicle to carry my wife to Bounsi referral hospital, we helplessly witnessed the tragic end of her,” Arjun a daily wage earner recalled.
Sick people especially women in advance pregnancy state in the remote villages like Jhiktivaran do not have the opportunity to avail Jay Prabha Janani Sishu Aroghya Express, an government’s ambulance mainly due to inaccessibility of the villages which are also in Maoists lands and the poor conditions of the roads. And, the mode of transport in such conditions are auto-rickshaw, Jugar gari, tractors, cycle rickshaw and even public buses. Many living in such remote villages have to walks many kilometers to reach to the roads where the vehicles are available.
“I had to walk more than 7 km from my village and finally on a public bus to reach Soraiyahat PHC in Dumka district of Jharkhand. I gave birth to a boy before reaching the PHC, God somehow save my boy,” a homemaker at Baratard village narrated the incident of 2015 on condition of anonymity.
Independent surveys recorded that all types of maternal deaths in previous 5-6 years above 65 percent of women had no access to ambulances or any other state medical vehicle and 25 percent had to walk in such remote areas. This situation exist in most of the districts of eastern Bihar like Jamui, Munger and Lakhisarai and worst in places with forest and hilly terrains.
“We usually avoid to visit such remote places mainly due to the presence of Maoists and secondly the poor road conditions,” admitted a driver of Jay Prabha Janani Sishu Aroghya Express at Banka hospital on condition of anonymity.
“It is a big problem in such places along with neighbouring parts of Jharkhand. For the economic deprived sections (majority of the populations in such remote areas fall under BPL) indeed it’s very difficult task to provide proper medical help to expecting mother and the child. Lack of arrangement ambulance for mothers is pivotal in reducing maternal rate (the number of maternal deaths per 1000 women of reproductive age) and neonatal mortality rate (the mortality rate per 1000 births)” said a senior doctor at Banka.
A senior police officer in Bhagalpur division admitted that due to topographically inaccessibility and Maoists presence, proper policing is yet not been introduced in such areas. “We yet not put a police camp at the area because of insecurity and have to depend on neighbouring Jharkhand police in Dumka district in case of any emergency in that areas,” the top cop admitted cordially.
“The sub PHC at Abhaypur under Surajgarha block in Lakhisarai remains closed most of the time as doctors and other medical staffs prefer to avoid visit at the PHC daily,” was the common complain of villagers. Buddhan Yadav whose wife was died during delivery, was one of the villagers who hold the doctors responsible for the death of his wife. “I brought here on a Jugar Gadi but since the PHC was closed at that time, my wife died without any treatment,” he recalled.
Source from the office of civil surgeon, Banka on condition of anonymity admitted that the topography inaccessibility is the main reason for such problems. “The areas are very inaccessible and our staffs avoid to visit the areas mainly because of the Maoists,” the source said. The office of the civil surgeon, Banka did not have any records of such maternal deaths.
A supervisor with integrated child development scheme (ICDS) at Banka who did not like to be quoted said that even taking the risk in the red’s strong holds, Anganwari workers do their filed works regularly and conduct other projects like pulse polio immunization but as per the concerned of expecting mothers, it is very difficult for them to handle the situation. “ We somehow reach to the village but how could we arrange miracle for providing timely medical help in case of emergency when there is no road or there is no vehicle to carry the patient to nearby health center,” the supervisor pointed out.
Baski Tudu (58), a Dai for traditional delivery said that in most of such villages the patients have only option for traditional deliveries since due to no availability of proper transportation facilities, timely proper treatment to a patient in case of an emergency is almost impossible. “With limited resources, people like us conduct the delivery but when the situation turns complicated we don’t have any opportunity to save both the mother and the child,” she admitted boldly.
Interestingly enough, administrations in the concerned districts like Banka doesn’t has any data and figures about such ill-fated mothers who either lost their babies or lost their lives during walking for delivery. “People started living even inside forest and mostly highly inaccessible hilly terrains which are also considered as reds’ strong holds. Handing such cases there are Anganwari centers or female health workers in block wise but due to non-availability of proper transportation or lack of roads, women have to face to face such utter situations,” a senior district level officer admitted on condition of anonymity.
(to be concluded)