PINKY’S STORY: Pinky gave birth on the pavement of Kolkata in 2022.

Pinky Khatoos was 25 when she was found living with her two elder children on the the pavements of Kolkata during the second wave of the pandemic. Her husband had left her during the lockdown and she was 5 months pregnant with her third baby. Pinky was relying on begging along the busy streets of Esplanade and Park Street Kolkata to feed herself and her two older children, but as the lock down hit she felt her chances of survival were ebbing away.

“It is getting harder to arrange food for all of us. Sometimes I have to make a choice – do I feed my children who are already born, or do I eat the food for the sake of the one that will be born?”

Her mother who was living with her on the streets told us:
“She did not give birth at a hospital when her last child was born. I think this time too the child will be born on the streets, because who will take her to the hospital?”

Knowing that Pinky was in a crisis situation CINI staff visited Pinky everyday in order to ensure she took her supplements and attends all of her antenatal appointments. But sometimes the problem was not just a practical one, Pinky lacked confidence and worried she would be judged when she asked for help.

“People look down upon us because of our appearance and speak to us in a different manner. They will not take proper care of me or my child if I go there (healthcare facilities).”

CINI staff worked with Pinky to help her understand that she and her children deserve proper support and that the care workers are there for her. Pinky attended her sessions and her confidence has really grown. It really helped when we are able to connect Pinky with other women in her community.

Despite all this, Pinky went into labour at 4am with no-one to get her to the hospital. Pinky gave birth to her baby on the streets, with only her mother and her children by her side.

With CINI’s help the nest day Pinky and her baby were able to access postnatal support and ensure her new baby Sabiya was healthy and fit.

“I feel relieved that I could ensure my child’s health during birth at such a tough period. I hope I can find ways to keep providing my children with everything that they need to grow.”

Pinky was already malnourished and heavily pregnant when she came to our attention. With your support we can work to identify young pregnant mother’s sooner and ensure they are supported every step of the way. Please consider sponsoring a mother for £10 a month this Mother’s Day.

What does Sponsoring a Mother entail?

For £10 a month you will support a pregnant women in India to access all the antenatal and postnatal care she needs for her and her baby to get the best possible start in life.

This will include iron and folic acid supplements as well as support with nutrition, breastfeeding and weaning.

We ensure mothers know how to access support; link them to their community network and ensure government workers are looking after them effectively. 

We provide help for the first 1000 days of life so this includes pregnancy and the first two years of the child’s life. This is a VITAL window of intervention for a baby. If we can ensure a mother is well nourished and supported in her community we can ensure her baby is born safely and with fewer complications.

Life will be better for the children we support. 

We already know that supporting women’s maternal health creates a society that uplifts and supports women overall. We invite you to join us in supporting mothers and babies to take their place within their community, build their confidence and thrive!