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Uttar Pradesh

Matter of life and death

Ramesh Srivastava is the driver of this ambulance. Mitanins requring the ambulance service can directly call him on his cell number – 09329561492 in Chhattisgarh. The 24/7 ambulance started functioning in the state a couple of months back. At present, the ambulance is being used for bringing women to the hospital for delivery but it is expensive. The state is trying to strengthen the regular ambulance service to tackle the bulk of delivery cases Photo by: Vibha Varshney Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

Sarita Devi feeds her one-and-a-half month old daughter, whom she delivered in a private vehicle on the way to the hospital, as her four-year-old son, Aditya, plays in the sun. She could deliver safely in the jeep as her Usada village’s midwife in Uttarakhand was with her in the vehicle Photo by: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

Sunita Devi, pregnant with her first child at the age of 25, now cares for her step-children. She holds the youngest of her three step-daughters at her village Bhatwadi in Ukhimat block in Uttarakhand. The children lost their mother, who was anaemic, a month after her third delivery Photo by: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

23-year-old Noorjahan lost her nine-month old daughter to an unidentified disease last year. There is no paediatrician at the Community Health Centre in Sirsia block in Uttar Pradesh. The family could also not afford the expensive medicines that general physicians prescribed which needed to be purchased from the private medical stores. Wasim, Noorjahan’s husband earns Rs 70 on good days to feed a family of nine Photo by: Ankur Paliwal Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

Living in Saudi village in Agastmuni block in Uttarakhand, 27-year-old Sangeeta Devi delivered twin boys, out of which only one survived. Sangeeta’s mother, Susheela Devi who is seen holding the underweight baby boy in the picture, blames several referrals from one hospital to the other for the death of the baby Photo by: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

The contact numbers of doctors are written at the wall of community health centre in Sareela block in Uttar Pradesh so that people can contact when in need Photo by: Ankur Paliwal Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary

Matter of life and death

Rajasthan government proactively and aggressively promotes its health schemes. Shown in the picture is a poster of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) which was launched in September 2011. The scheme, which is under the purview of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), is being dutifully implemented across the state. Under the scheme, the government provides free and cashless services to pregnant women including normal deliveries and caesarean operations and sick new born (up to 30 days after birth) in government health institutions in both rural and urban areas. One of the motives behind launching the scheme was to promote institutional deliveries. As part of JSSK, women who have delivered normally get food without any charge for three days, while women who deliver through caesarean get to stay for seven days Photo by: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

Around 20 women had come for tubectomy camp in the community health centre in Kurara block in Hamirpur district in Uttar Pradesh. Such camps are organised once a month in the district. The district health officials attribute good family planning as one of the reasons behind low infant mortality rate in Hamirpur Photo by: Ankur Paliwal 10’- Following the hill tradition, 25-year-old Usha Devi spends 21 days after the delivery in a cowshed with her baby girl in Uttarakhand. Usha’s mother, Sibdea, also seen in the picture, would help her daughter as no one else is allowed near the mother and the child till their isolation period is over Photo by: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

Kota is the most literate district in Rajasthan, and also has the highest rate of female literacy in the state. According to the 2011 census, the overall literacy rate in Kota is 77.48 per cent, while female literacy is 66.2 per cent. Empowered by education, women in Kota know how to take care of themselves during pregnancy and tend to their newborn Photo by: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary) Read more: Children of a lesser god (Reporter's Diary)

Matter of life and death

Parvati Devi, an Auxillary Nurse Midwives (ANM), is checking a pregnant woman at the additional public health centre in Mamna village in Sareela block in Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh Photo by: Ankur Paliwal Read more: Cradles of hope (Cover Story) Read more: What ails Bundi? (Reporter's Diary)
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