Kochi: In times of great tragedy, joy can come wrapped in small packages. This time, the relief descended from the skies in the middle of the worst floods to have raged in Kerala since 1924.
Pregnant Sajitha Jabeel, 25, was stuck on the rooftop of her house in Aluva — a submerged region of Kerala’s Ernakulam district — when she heard the rattle of chopper blades. It was an Indian Navy chopper that was responding to her SOS for help, stranded as she was in a ‘red alert’ area. In labour, Sajitha had developed complications and on Thursday, at 1.08 pm, her bag of water broke. The two lives were in danger but help came out of the blue – literally. With that came the bundle of joy.
A live video recorded by the armed forces shows Jabeel in labour. She was airlifted and taken to Kochi naval base hospital. At 1:08 pm, the Indian Navy tweeted this information with the live recording of the airlift: “A pregnant lady with water bag leaking has been airlifted and evacuated to Sanjivani. Doctor was lowered to assess the lady. Operation successful.’’ Almost half an hour later, the woman delivered a baby boy. “The baby and the mother are both stable at the naval hospital,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson said a naval medical team was airlifted to Aluva amid a report of the collapse of a building there. A makeshift relief camp has been set up at a hangar inside the naval base, catering to 500 displaced civilians, who are being provided meals and other basic necessities.The Navy Wives Welfare Association is involved with the relief at the camp. Aluva continues to be one of the worst-affected towns in the floods that have claimed at least 324 lives so far. More than 3,000 people have been rescued by the armed forces as on date, since the start of the operation.