A nine-month pregnant woman, who was aerially rescued last week from one of the worst rain-affected areas of the city, has given birth to healthy twin girls at a hospital, bringing some cheer as residents grapple with the aftermath of the unprecedented deluge.
The Indian Air Force, which had rescued 28-year-old Deepthi Velchamy on December 2, again airlifted her to a hospital two days later when she went into labour.
She was initially evacuated from rain-hit Ramapuram area near Guindy and brought to the Tamabaram Air Base, nearly 30 kilometre from Chennai, which served as one of the nodal points during the aerial rescue operations.
“She was rescued on December 2 and was nine months pregnant. I was in Bangalore when I received a call and reached Tambaram the next day. She then went in labour and had to be airlifted again to a hospital in Chennai. The two girls were born on December 4,” her husband Karthik Velchamy said.
Deepthi went into labour but her pregnancy history papers were lost in the flood. The Velchamys, native of Hosur near Bangalore, were racing against time when the IAF came to their rescue again and airlifted her to a hospital, which had her medical record.
“She suggested (Sri) RamachandraMedicalCollege and Hospital as it had her details on online database... And, an IAF team then airlifted her there. I am so happy that after all the hardships we went through, our daughters have arrived like angels and brought smile on everyone’s faces,” Karthik said.
The Indian Air Force which played a stellar role during the entire rescue operations had saved three or four other expecting mothers.
“Besides, Deepthi, who was airlifted from her house’s rooftop in Guindy area, by a ‘Cheetah’ helicopter, three-four other pregnant women were also rescued from the city and suburban areas, where communication links were cut off,” a senior IAF official said.
Sukanya, 29, a seven-month-pregnant woman was rescued on December 3 along with her three-year-old child from her home in Medumbakkam, near Guindy, which bore the brunt of the torrential rains that has left the capital city battered.
She was brought to Tambaram Air Base in a ‘Chetak’ helicopter, and then immediately taken to the base hospital.
“We moved to the fourth floor of our house as the first and the second floor had become inundated. There was no electricity in our area for the last two days.
“We had lost all hope until they rescued us,” she had said.
“Rescuing is a tough job and when I heard our boys (pilots) are airlifting seven and nine-month pregnant women, I asked my colleagues, how are they doing it,” a top IAF official said.
An emotionally overwhelmed Karthik is in awe of the IAF now, and says, “I salute these brave men.”