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Woman gives birth at Metro station

A woman delivered a baby at Girish Park Metro station on Friday afternoon, helped by a railway employee who was being guided by a doctor over the phone.

Police and Metro employees took the mother and the baby girl to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, where a doctor separated the umbilical cord. Both are doing fine, hospital officials said.

Mumtaz Begum, 32, a resident of Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas, was on her way home when she went into labour.

The woman was staying in Calcutta as her 13-year-old son Ashique, who has been suffering from blood cancer, is admitted to a Thakurpukur hospital.

As she was expecting, Mumtaz’s husband Rafikul Islam, who earns a living by pulling vans, had asked cousin Kabir Dafadar and his wife Sonia to accompany her home.

The trio had boarded a Metro train at Tollygunge to reach Dum Dum, from where they were to catch a suburban train to Ashoknagar.

“We didn’t get seats. My sister-in-law started crying in pain after we had crossed three stations,” recounted Kabir.

After the train crossed MG Road station, some passengers advised them to get down at Girish Park and take a taxi to the nearest hospital.

The three got off at Girish Park but by then Mumtaz’s pain had become unbearable. Some fellow passengers who got off with them made her lie on the platform.

The station superintendent called a doctor at the Metro hospital and was making an appeal over the public address system that if there was any doctor at the station, he/she should come forward and help the woman.

“None of us knew how to tackle the situation. I have rudimentary knowledge of first aid and seen deliveries in movies. So I decided to help the woman,” said Ashok Dey, a Group D employee at the station.

Some women passengers surrounded Mumtaz while Dey and three homeguards sat on the floor and made her lie on a clean piece of cloth brought by RPF personnel. Since the Metro doctor would take time to come from the Tollygunge hospital, a lady passenger called up another doctor, who started giving instructions that she passed on to Dey.

“The woman was unconscious and the baby’s head popped out. Following the doctor’s directions, I pulled out the baby by its head. It took us three minutes,” said Dey.

The baby was born at 2.35pm.

Dey wiped the girl’s face and rubbed her back as she was crying, before the police and Metro staff took the mother and the daughter upstairs on a stretcher and whisked them off to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital in an ambulance.