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Tsunami: Women undergo reverse sterilisation
Sovi Vidyadharan in Akkaraipettai (TN) | December 22, 2005 12:34 IST
Agnes Rai may be the first "tsunami mother" after undergoing reverse sterilisation, but she is not alone in this. There are more than such 50 women who are expecting to be mothers again after losing all their children to the giant waves.
When 27-year-old Bhagyalakshmi, a resident of Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam district, had undergone sterilisation after the birth of her third child for Rs 200 she desperately needed from the government, little did she know that she would one day undergo reverse ligation at state expense.
She underwent a government-funded recanalisation surgery, which reverses sterilisation by reconnecting the fallopian tubes, and is expecting a baby in August 2006.
Apart from Bhagyalakshmi, more than 50 women, who have lost their children in the tsunami, have also come forward for the operation so that they do not have to bear the prospect of a childless future.
"I had started thinking that my life had no purpose after my children Vinod (9), Jenny (4) and Nikesh (2) were washed away by the ruthless waves," said Bhagyalakshmi sitting inside a humid temporary shelter in Akkaraipettai.
"I had undergone sterilization after Nikesh was born as my family was in desperate need of the money (Rs 200) the government was offering as part of family planning programme," she said.
"But when I knew about this surgery (reverse sterilisation), I was overjoyed. My husband also encouraged me for the operation and I am now two months pregnant," she added.
Bhagyalakshmi was all shy to say this, but there was no mistaking her beaming face and heart.
"Out of the 51 recanalisation surgeries done in this district, four women have conceived by now. The rest are hopeful that they would also be blessed with a child soon," says Dr K Thilagam, senior gynecologist at the Nagapattinam District Government Hospital.
"Ever since the death of my two daughters Nithya (9) and Sandhya (5) in the tsunami, my only surviving child Nisha (11) had turned so depressed that we couldn't bear the sight of her standing at the beach remembering her sisters with tears in her eyes.
It was on her insistence of having a sibling that I underwent this operation," says 26-year-old Kumari of Akkaraipettai.
"I am eagerly awaiting the birth of my little brother," Nisha says pointing to her mother. I will keep him far away from the sea so that the waves do not take him away as it didámy two sisters," she adds.
Similarly, in the nearby village of Keechankuppam, one of the worst-affected villages in the tsunami, Selvi and Geeta, both 26-year-olds, are also awaiting the birth of their children by September 2006.