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A Miracle Birth

It was a pregnancy case that all doctors turned away from, saying that it was too risky, and the mother to be stood no chance. One doctor, a woman, came forward and helped Shanti to give birth to a child. The child she gave birth to was almost half her size. Shanti is a dwarf: she stands two feet tall. Her husband, Pappu, is two feet 10 inches. The birth of their child is being referred to as “the miracle of Moradabad”.

A report in the The Telegraph stated that the villagers of Bilari as well as the doctors cannot stop talking about Shanti’s courage in carrying the baby for nine months. Due to her externally small body, she had a cogestive caridac failure and severe anaemia at the time of her pregnancy. She weighed just about 20kgs, was unable to carry the weight of the child inside her womb, and could barely stand for two minutes on her own. Her chest was too small to expand properly and there was a great deal of swelling in her abdominal area.

“It must be the first such case in the world,” says Sangeeta Madan, the gynecologist who saw through Shanti’s childbirth. “It goes against science, biology and nature,” she adds, clearly shaken by what she has achieved. Madan had agreed to take up Shanti’s case only after the little woman refused to give up on her baby, risking her life for the foetus that was painfully forming inside her. All the government hospitals that Shanti’s family approached closed doors on them, maintaining it would amount to nothing less than murder to even attempt delivery.

“She will not survive; we have never done such a risky operation; she will surely die; she is too tiny,” was the common refrain from the various hospital authorities each time Shanti, 32 weeks pregnant at the time of the delivery, approached them.

Shanti, and her barely 3-foot tall husband, had almost given up hope and started looking for quacks to help them out when Madan, a consulting gynecologist at Moradabad’s Vivekananda Hospital and Research Centre agreed to sign a bond saying the decision was totally hers as would be the responsibility in the event of a mishap.

Madan is now looking up for more details that she can lay her hands on about the reproductive system of dwarfs on the Internet and in old hospital records dealing with such cases. Amazed doctors are now going through health encyclopedias all over again and awestruck villagers are looking heavenwards.

But now that Shanti has come through with the impossible, people in Moradabad and Bilari, her village, are taking it as a “miracle” made possible by God.

People thronged the hospital, and the rush got so unmanageable that Shanti’s room had to be barricaded. Villagers trickled in with cash and gifts, overwhelmed at the tenacity and courage of the little woman. Many say it spells good times for their poverty ridden, stinking village full of filth and pigs.

Though the baby, whom people have named everything from Vivekananda to Shiv, Sagar and Vijay, is normal, his development and growth is being closely monitored by doctors, who say they now want to study the “unprecedented”.

One thing everybody agrees is that Shanti’s courage at least is nothing short of the miraculous. It has even given renewed hope to Pappu, now working as a helper in a sweetmeat shop in Bilari.

“Everytime I approached the DM for a job, he would tell me I am not good enough and that I should join the circus,” recalled Pappu sadly. “But now I think they will take me more seriously. If my wife can defy fate and her limitations, so can I. Just let me get a job and I will show what a dwarf can do,” he added.

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