A pregnant woman, Noor Jahan, and her husband, Ilyaz Shaikh, had been relaxing at home, awaiting the day doctors told them the baby would be due. The day was about a week away, but the wife had all the signs – increasingly intense contractions, longer contractions and her water broke. She was going into labor.
The two called a cab to rush to the hospital in Vijaynagar, India. Jahan, the wife, had woken up a family friend/female neighbor to accompany them. Despite being the couple’s second child, Jahan had wanted everything to go smoothly as possible.
The cab driver arrived, and the three began the journey to the hospital. However, narrow roads and high traffic stopped them in their tracks. Even after an hour of driving, they simply weren’t close enough. That’s when Jahan began to scream – she was close to delivering the baby.
The driver began to panic and told them to get out – he didn’t want the baby delivered in the car. Despite protest, the three exited the vehicle, left on the side of the road with nowhere to go. The wife was getting closer and closer to delivery.
However, they noticed a temple nearby. With a glimmer a hope, they rushed their way to the temple where some female devotees had been sitting outside. Without hesitation, the women came to help.
“We were so worried. My wife was close to delivering the baby and all we could see was a [temple],” Shaikh said. “As soon as we got down outside the temple, some women, who were sitting in the verandah… rushed to help us. We didn’t even have to ask.”
The female devotees then created a makeshift delivery room with the help of supplies from their nearby homes. Bedsheets lay around as the older women surrounded Jahan. Soon, the screams of Jahan were replaced with the cries of a baby boy.
“I just couldn’t believe what had happened,” Shaikh said. Jahan also said the she felt as though “God was watching over them”.
“We saw she was about to deliver, so we quickly rushed to help. We put up bedsheets and sarees,” said Sangita Vangule, one of the female devotees at the temple. “It was a normal delivery and she cut the umbilical cord herself.”
No complications arose during the delivery. Soon, they made their way to the hospital where doctors gave the two a clean bill of health. Although they were dumped on the road by a heartless cab driver, these devotees stepped in to ensure that Jahan’s delivery would go without a hitch.
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