Issue Date: Jul 31, 2012
Young women, most in their 20s, lie on the floor like corpses at a community health centre (CHC) in Bikaner’s Kolayat block in Rajasthan. Flies hover over the bandages on the fresh wounds they received after undergoing operation for sterilisation. As they lie unconscious on a thin mat spread on the floor, relatives use cardboard pieces to fan themselves, and at times the patients. With temperature lingering close to 40°C, one cooler in the room is insufficient. Small children play with their slippers and feeding bottles and other belongings close to their mothers.