TODAY -

Mother of 14 talks about high and low of motherhood
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 22 2013 : Death of pregnant mothers or new born babies during delivery at hospital due to alleged negligence of the attending doctors may be a common occurrence in Manipur, but there is a woman who has mothered 14 children, some of whom she delivered all by herself without any help of doctors, and all of them not only survived but healthy and strong.

Meet 42-year old Mutum Ongbi Sunita w/o Mutum Achou (62) of Keibi Kumuda Makha Leikai under Imphal East district.

Talking to Hueiyen Lanpao, Sunita informed that she also the 6th child of 16 siblings born to her parents and got married at the age of 13 years.

Out of the nine sons and five daughters she has given birth, there is a twin son, whom she has named as Khongnangthaba and Chingshanglakpa.

Sunita said that except for four of her kids, she gave birth to most of her children at home with the help of Maibis.

But in case of her 8th child, a son, she gave birth while she working in her kitchen garden.

"As the labour pain started all of a sudden and there was no time for going to the hospital or call the local Maibi, I delivered the child all by myself in the kitchen garden itself.

I cut the umbilical cord with the Thangol (sickle)I was using and tied it with a piece of cloth torn from my Phanek.

And, then I shouted for my husband, who rushed in and lifted me to the house.

Being a woman who can't live without rice, I almost lost consciousness when my husband laid me down the bed.

After eating almost one kg of rice which my husband cooked hurried, I became normal", Sunita recalled with laughter.

On poverty in the house and the ordeal of looking after so many children, Sunita said, "We have no paddy field of our own; we are basically daily wage earners.

So, and me and my husband have to earn at at least Rs 500 in a day to feed the family.

Our income is supplemented from whatever little vegetables we grow in our kitchen garden.

With the vegetables picked from out kitchen garden, I go to either Lamlong Keithel or Khwairamband Bazar to sell them.

So, on days there are bandh or general strike, it is hard life for us" .

She went on to say, "With the gap between the ages of the children not even one year, all of them are growing up together and they are all good eaters.

So, one bag of rice last for only 3 days.

In case Mustard leaves are to be cooked, then one Sangbai is to be arranged.

That too, without any fishes to add flavour and taste.

But still, no one complains.

Now that some of my children have grown up, they have started helping me in my work and they have also started earning income for themselves to meet their requirements like cloths and pocket money" .

Sunita said that coming from a poor and big family herself, she did not go to school at all.

Likewise, her eldest son stopped going to school after class XI.

All her children go to Government schools as she can't afford to send them to private school.

"Even if the elder children could not pursue proper education, I wish that my four younger children get adequate education", Sunita conveyed her desire.


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