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Patna, July 26, 2020
A 25-year-old woman gave birth to a baby girl onboard an NDRF rescue boat in Bihar's flood-hit East Champaran district on Sunday afternoon during an evacuation operation.
The girl was born at around 1.40 p.m. on the rescue boat of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which was on a rescue mission in a flood-hit village affected by river Burhi Gandak -- a tributary of Ganga also known as Sikrahana in its upper reaches.
The news brought cheers to the region where the flood situation has worsened following incessant rain in the past few days.
The birth of the girl was the 10th such incident onboard NDRF rescue boats in the last seven years, including a pair of twins, NDRF Director General S. N. Pradhan told IANS. The NDRF personnel had also facilitated a childbirth on its rescue boat on July 22.
"The NDRF is committed to not only saving lives but also facilitating life in all manifestations, including the birth of a child into this world. It is our sworn ethos and we will continue to abide by it. We owe it to the love and support that we have got from the people of India," Pradhan said.
Presently, a total of 21 NDRF teams are deployed in 12 districts of Bihar to tackle the floods, which have affected over 10 lakh people, said the DG, adding that his force has rescued over 4,000 people in Bihar.
The NDRF facilitated the childbirth in a dramatic rescue mission, as her mother, Rima Devi (25), the wife of Muni Lal Mahato, a resident of Gobari village in East Champaran district (Motihari), was in an advanced stage of pregnancy.
On getting the information about the pregnant woman, rescuers of 9 Battalion NDRF, who were engaged in search and rescue operations near the same village after a drowning incident, promptly responded and rushed to her house on a boat.
The NDRF team, with the help of one ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker, rescued the woman and headed for the nearby Primary Health Centre in Banjariya after assessing her condition.
During the course of evacuation on the NDRF rescue boat, the force said the woman developed severe labour pain.
"Noticing this, NDRF rescuers accompanied by the Asha worker and her family members decided to help the expecting mother deliver on the boat itself," the NDRF said.
Finally, the woman delivered a baby girl on the NDRF rescue boat under the supervision of her rescuers from the force and the ASHA worker.
The mother and the new born have been shifted to the nearby Primary Health Centre in Banjariya (Motihari) in an ambulance where their condition is stated to be stable, the NDRF said.
NDRF personnel are trained in emergency medical response and during the course of professional training, all the rescuers are taught handling of childbirth during emergency along with other disaster response training.
NDRF is an Indian specialised force constituted "for the purpose of special response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster" under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.