Reyaz Rashid

Three mothers dodged death to save three new lives, one was yet to be born!

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As Uri shells rained on Uri villages…

Uri, Mar 01: This is why they are mothers – they dodged life-threatening cross-LoC firing and artillery shells to make it to make-shift camp at the Government Higher Secondary School Uri, where they gave birth to three new lives.

For strong-willed Shariefa Begum, wife of Ahmed Din of Churanda, an expecting mother, it was like earthquake as heavy cross-LoC shelling and firing shook her home.

“There was hue and cry everywhere in the village. I had only one concern — how to survive with a baby in my womb. I along with my childhood friend Asifa trudged around two kilometers amidst heavy shelling and firing to reach the main road. There was a brief lull and an ambulance came to evacuate villagers, but I was lucky to board it first. I was rushed to hospital,” Shariefa said.

She added after medical examination, she shifted to the camp at Higher Secondary School and informed her family about her safety. Later rest of her family members also shifted to the camp.

“Today on the seventh days at the makeshift camp, she delivered a baby girl after being  rushed to the adjacent Sub-District Hospital, Uri,” said Lal Din Sarpanch of Churanda.

“Thanks to Almighty Allah, she delivered a girl baby and both mother and child are fine,” he said.

Shahana Ara of Salikote Uri, who had given birth to a child 10 days ago, was lying on the bed when shelling started.

The villagers appealed the Army over the loudspeakers from a local mosque to stop the firing for a while so that she could be evacuated, but their pleas failed get attention from either side.

“The worried family shifted Shahana and her  baby into bunker but, she could not fit into it as her belly was stapled after the surgery at the time of delivery,” said Mohammed Amin, a village elder.

Later, she had to trudge over a kilometre to dodge the shells and firing and reached the only exit gate set with fence round.

“Luckily gate was open and she could hit the road and board an ambulance round the corner of a mountain and survive. She was taken straight to a hospital.

“I felt the mother’s stitches were coming off and the baby was getting cold,” said Riffat, sister of Shahana, but both mother and child are doing fine now.

Naza Begum of Salikote had also delivered normally some five days ago when the firing started. She also had to foot a kilotmeter amid shelling to reach an ambulance, and  was shifted to the makeshift camp. Later, the mother and her baby shifted to a relative’s house.

Pertinently, around 10 villages in Uri frontier are face to face with Pakistani posts and have been put under the fence with single exit gates. The villagers have to register their entry and exit as the villages on the zero line have been compartmentalised due to the Army fence.

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