By Linda Chhakchhuak
Harsing Teron and his wife Romoni Engtipi with the baby boy in her lap. Telegraph picture
Aizawl, Mar 5 : Aamir Khan and the other two “idiots” had Kareena Kapoor online through video-conferencing to help them with midwifery efforts in the film 3 Idiots.
Caught in a similar situation, Hmahruaii Chhakchhuak, a Christian mission worker in Japong, a remote village in Karbi Anglong district of Assam, had to fall back on Facebook when summoned to help deliver a baby.
It was around 4pm on February 26 when the family of 40-year-old Romoni Engtipi, wife of Harsing Teron, called Hmahruaii as Romoni had gone into labour.
Caught off-guard, as she had no knowledge whatsoever about midwifery, the mission worker tried calling a colleague living in a distant village for instructions but the call wouldn’t go through. She tried calling several other people but could not connect with them either. “The phone network is always bad around here,” she said.
“Then I remembered that there are some nurses and doctors in my Facebook group and sent out an urgent appeal for help, asking for their mobile phone numbers so that I could call them up,” she told The Telegraph, again over Facebook, as she could not be reached on her mobile phone.
She immediately got a call from a group member, Joicy Ralte, a nurse who had settled in Calcutta with her husband Rev. P.C. Lalropuia. But the line disconnected after a few seconds.
At a loss, with a kerosene lamp to light up the room, as the power, too, was playing truant, Hmahruaii was beginning to panic.
“But when I glanced at my phone that was logged on to the Facebook group, I noticed that Joicy was sending instructions on the group site. I was so relieved, as Romoni was in severe pain and getting exhausted,” she said.
She somehow remembered that a sugar solution with water works as an energiser for the very weak. She got some sugar and fed the solution to Romoni.
In the meantime, another Facebook group member, R.K. Hnamte started removing all other comments from other group members under that topic so that Hmahruaii at ground zero could see only the instructions from Joicy.
“I followed Joicy’s directions diligently right from helping the mother push the baby out and then getting a fresh blade to cut the umbilical cord. I followed them to find the correct way of holding the baby and clearing its mouth,” she said.
She had helped deliver a healthy baby boy.
“Thank God that at least Facebook was working and that the Internet network was available, or else we would all have been in deep trouble, especially me, as the people there had placed their entire faith in me,” Hmahruaii said.
Their Facebook group is aptly called Chhangchheness, an anglo-Mizo retronym that refers to an emotional state in life equivalent to the bothered status of the parents of an energetic brood of children.