Phulmati Majhi is around 40 years old. She is a member of the Gond tribe and lives in the village of Dabri in Khariar block of Naupada district, Orissa. The village of Dabri does not have electricity or all-weather roads, and 80 percent of the population earns less than a dollar a day.
Phulmati had a history of stillbirths and miscarriages, and had only one surviving child from her previous six pregnancies. The NGOs working there ensured that this time around, Phulmati received three antenatal check-ups. It took some effort to break down her initial reluctance to access modern healthcare. She also needed to be persuaded to go to the Khariar Public Health Center, 19 kilometers away, when she began having labor pains. A private taxi was arranged to take her there.
At the center, the gynecologist found that her hemoglobin count was only 4 grams. She referred her to the hospital in Naupada, 70 kilometers away. Phulmati and her husband were distraught as they knew no one in Naupada and moreover, they had no money. They were on the verge of returning to their village, which could have potentially been fatal. Fortunately, some money was arranged for transporting her to Naupada by means of public transport.
Upon being admitted at the hospital in Naupada, Phulmati needed a blood transfusion. A blood donor was mobilized. She gave birth normally to a baby the next morning. Phulmati is now happy with her healthy child.