Pratima, a casualty of India's growing inequality

Pratima, a casualty of India's growing inequality

Why Pratima's story needs to be heard

Pratima Devi is a resident of Kaushal Nagar, Patna. She lives with her husband, Ranjeet Kumar, a driver, and their daughter Shanti, a 14-year-old student studying in 8th standard. The couple wanted a male child so they planned a pregnancy after 14 years of having their first child. Pratima got pregnant and followed all the instructions given by the doctors of Phulwari Sharif Primary Health Centre during her pregnancy.  When advised for an ultrasound, they visited a private institution as the said facility was not available at the PHC. The couple were delighted as they got to know that they were expecting twin babies. In her final trimester, Pratima Devi felt labour pain. Ranjeet rushed his wife to the Phulwari Sharif PHC on a private vehicle as the government ambulance wasn’t available on call. When they reached the PHC, they were asked to wait as the doctor wasn’t present. She, in excruciating labour pain, was compelled to wait for more than an hour. When the doctor came, Ranjeet was told that operation had to be performed and the staff handed over a list of drugs to be brought from private pharmacies as medicines were not available at the Health Centre. In this process, another crucial hour was lost. Twenty minutes into the event, a staff member came and informed Ranjeet that there were two babies, one male and the other female. The female baby was already dead before the operation but the male baby was still alive but very weak. He had to be kept in an incubator. The baby remained in an incubator for eight days but on the ninth day, he died.

Pratima lost her twin babies in childbirth due to delays and a lack of medicines in her local government clinic. The Indian government barely taxes its wealthiest citizens and its spending on public healthcare ranks among the worst in the world. Pratima’s children did not need to die. Her heartbreaking story is the story of millions of women around the world risking their lives having a baby, without adequate medical care.

Watch Pratima's story here:

 

 

Did you know?

  1. In India, the highest-quality medical care is only available to those who have the money to pay for it. The country is a top destination for medical tourism. (Oxfam Inequality report 2019: Public Good or Private Wealth). At the same time, levels of public spending on health are some of the lowest in the world. The poorest Indian states have infant mortality rates higher than those in sub-Saharan Africa.
     
  2. The Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have an infant mortality rate of 64 deaths per 1,000 live births and 54 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively, higher than sub-Saharan Africa (52 per 1,000 live births). Source (a): India National Family Health Survey 2015–16. Source (b) Source (c) African figure.
     
  3. Combined revenue and capital expenditure of the Centre and the States for Medical & public health and water supply & sanitation is Rs. 208166 Crore (INR 2082 billion/ $29.7 billion) in 2016-17. That amount is much less the richest Indian billionaire ($40.1 billion) Mukesh Ambani’s wealth. (Exchange Rate @ 1$ = 70 INR). Data Source: Indian Public Finance Statistics 2016-17. Source 

READ 10 OF THE MOST POWERFUL QUOTES THAT WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE OF INEQUALITY IN INDIA

What ails India's development?

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but the growth and development seen here is limited to only specific sections of society. Rich are getting richer at a much faster pace while the poor are still struggling to earn a minimum wage and access quality education and healthcare services for their family, especially their children. Women and children are the worst affected due to such widening gaps and rising inequalities in India. There are widespread inequalities between the rich and poor, between urban and rural, between the genders, between various social groups, and between the lived realities of Bharat on the one hand and growing India on the other. 

Oxfam is fighting to bridge the extreme gap between the rich and the poor. 

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PHOTO ESSAY THAT SHOWS THE REALITY OF INCOME INEQUALITY IN INDIA?

Inequality affects us all. Join Oxfam India’s campaign to urge the government to provide quality essential services, end under taxation of corporates and rich individuals and include unpaid care work by women in the economic and budgetary decision-making process.

SMS 'SMASHINEQUALITY' TO 56263

YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS ENSURING THAT CITIZENS OF INDIA HAVE AN EQUAL CHANCE TO GET ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH. DONATE NOW


Health

We advocate for progressive taxation to generate public funds for healthcare and regulation of private healthcare  

Read More

Related Blogs

Health

12 Nov, 2018

Chhattisgarh

Oxfam India helping mothers deliver healthy babies

According to a government scheme study in 2016-17, 550,000 women in India (mostly above 30 years of age) were found to be going through high-risk pregnancies. Regular monitoring and...

Health

12 Dec, 2018

India

15 Healthcare schemes in India that you must know about

Health is a fundamental human right and a global social goal. It is pertinent for the realization of basic human needs and for a better quality of life. Health is a causative fact...

Health

27 Feb, 2019

Bihar

Rampant discrimination at Public Health Facilities- Aarti's story

Aarti Devi, a Dalit woman from Patna and her husband, Govind Ram, were excited when they heard the news about her pregnancy. The couple found out through an advertisement that the g...

img Become an Oxfam Supporter, Sign Up Today One of the most trusted non-profit organisations in India