LUCKNOW: It was a real-life redux of Amir ‘Rancho’ Khan’s midwifery feat in the climax of the movie ‘3 Idiots’, only that it all happened onboard a running train and the protagonist was a physically challenged lab technician working in Delhi.
On Saturday night, Sunil Prajapati helped a 30-year-old woman deliver a baby on Jabalpur-bound Madhya Pradesh Sampark Kranti Covid-19 special express, using a thread string taken from a shawl, a blade from a shaving kit pouch, and taking instructions over a video call with a senior eye surgeon. The woman has a history of three miscarriages.
It all happened in the B3 coach of the train while it was passing through Mathura district. The 33-year-old “super hero” told TOI, “The train had just crossed Faridabad and I was about to open my lunch box when I heard a woman sleeping in the next coupe crying in pain. She was travelling with her brother and a minor daughter to Damoh to her in-law’s place. On inquiry, the woman identified herself as Kiran, 30, and that she was due for delivery on January 20.”
“I offered to help her and asked whether she needs medical assistant at any station, but she wasn’t sure if she was going under labour pain or abdomen twinge caused by jerks while travelling in bus to reach Hazrat Nizamuddin station. Since there was no woman passenger in the coach, I preferred not to take chance and informed my superior Dr Suparna Sen, who alerted Agra and Gwalior stations to put medical staff on standby. About half an hour later, Kiran again screamed in pain and this time her blanket was wet with her blood indicating that she was about to deliver. I immediately asked the TTE for a first-aid kit and took Dr Sen on video call. I followed her instructions carefully. Fortunately, I managed to arrange fresh unused blade from a passenger, with which I cut the umbilical cord,” Sunil said.
After the delivery, RPF personnel took the woman and her new-born to Mathura district hospital.
Sunil, who was hailed for his heroic act, is posted in the pathology department of the Northern Railway Delhi division hospital, Chandani Chowk. He was going home in Sagar, MP, on a three-day leave to fix the date of his marriage. “I just helped a woman deliver and a healthy infant was in my arms. It was a mixed feeling of fear and excitement. We only see such deliveries in movies. After the delivery, I made few more calls to other railway doctors to arrange medical assistance at Mathura. Since the train had no stoppage between Delhi and Gwalior, fellow passengers pulled the alarm chain at Mathura junction to stop the train, following an RPF team escorted Kiran to Mathura district hospital,” he said.
Sunil is youngest among six siblings; his father is a farmer.
Lauding Sunil’s efforts, Dr Sen said: “Hats off to him. He pulled off an impossible task. He is physically handicapped from his leg and had never ever seen a delivery. The delivery was successful because of his presence of mind for arranging tools likes blade from shaving kit and thread from shawl to execute the complex medical aid. I just guided him and he followed the instructions with utmost focus. He is a brave soul.”
Kiran told TOI, “The railway staff went out of their way to help me. They used video calling, something which I could not have imagined for my delivery.”

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