‘Mother india.. Flawless women… My grand salute to this mother..’

Many comments seem to see nothing more than glorious, flawless Indian motherhood in this news 😦

In her 9th month, pregnant woman swam 90 mins to safety

She hadn’t undergone any strength-training programmes nor was she fed any special diet. She had never heard any motivational speeches either. But when the time came to take the plunge, this nine-month pregnant woman, who had never swam in her entire life, dived into the choppy waters of the Krishna river. For nearly 90 minutes, she battled the surging river till she reached the nearest village with a hospital.

One comment:

‘…a mothers heart , selfless , pure . She would do anything for her baby . Hats off to her courage.’

Not just any mother.

‘Mother india.. Flawless women… My grand salute to this mother..’

9 months pregnant 22 year old Yellavva, was ‘married’ to a married man, 30-year-old daily wage labourer who ‘detested’ her. She was the eldest of the seven children of her impoverished labourer parents.

… Yellavva’s pregnancy was marked more with the fear of rising river levels than the anxiety about childbirth itself.

The nearest hospital was four km away, and they had to cross a river to reach it. Yelluva said she wanted the river crossed before it rose, but her family kept postponing it.

… the poverty-stricken family probably had life’s more pressing matters to attend to until Wednesday when the Krishna swelled like never before after excess water from Basava Sagara reservoir, 10-km upstream, was let into the river.

By then, the situation had gone out of hand and it was inevitable that Yellavva and her family would have to enter the swirling waters for the sake of the baby.

IHM:  Would they not have done the same if it wasn’t a pregnant woman but another very sick woman (or man)?

Why is it not about poverty, lack of basic facilities, lack of awareness and lack of value for the rights, life and health of the poor, specially poor women? 

“I even yelled at my father and others for arguing it would never rain as there was drought all around.” I told them to look at the river now, but my father just asked me to jump in.

“… Even when I was about to plunge in, I protested. Praying to gods I jumped into the river only to fall back. It was so cold and suffocating, even at that hour; it was 10 am. The strong currents kept dragging me. But then my brothers tied dried pumpkins and bottle gourd on either side to maintain buoyancy,” she says.

The pumpkin and bottle gourds helped Yellavva stay afloat when she was totally exhausted.

Her brother swam ahead of her and father swam along with her. Two male relatives followed them.

…. all those swimming around me started to push me one after another while my brother swimming in the front began dragging me by holding on to the rope. About 45 minutes later, we managed to reach the … the other side of the bank,”

Some comments found the story inspiring.

… Yellavva has survived only on the bare minimum her family could provide for. … Except for bajra rotis, subsidised rice and some vegetables, I ate nothing else ever since I conceived. Even on that day, I just had a couple of bajra rotis with onion chutney.”

Would she be judged if she said she was worried for her own safety and health?


11 thoughts on “‘Mother india.. Flawless women… My grand salute to this mother..’

  1. Some people miss the point of the story. I agree that what the woman and her family did was very brave, and tops to her for that.. But the issue at hand is larger than that.. THe point that there were no facilities near by, has already been raised by you..

    Another thing is that she had been asking her family to move as soon as the waters started swelling.. Why wasn’t that point taken seriously? Had her husband been there and expressed the concern, would that have lead to a different situation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly what struck me too on reading this story. though she wanted to move, her family did not oblige. They help her only at the last minute and actually put her into danger.
      i don’t know from where the commentators get the motherhood and selflessness angle.


  2. I Simply don’t understand these pathetic point of views shared on FB and Twitter. What it means.

    The lady herself said that she argued that they should move early but nobody listened. She protested for jumping into water again nobody listened.
    But somehow she fought for her own life again nobody listened and attributed her fight to her motherhood rather than self.

    This post simply focuses on the fact now your mother be ready to sacrifice and save your life only for your child. Indeed she is very brave woman who fought this adversity on her own. But did she had any choice.She was simply plunged.

    Most women in India whether educated or uneducated are simply plunged into life without any choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I swear, we are the only country in the world to view lack of basic facilities for most of our population as an opportunity to sacrifice and show our greatness. The rest of the world would be up against the government which can’t even provide a pregnant woman a way to reach the hospital for her delivery let alone provide accessible medical care for everyone. What is wrong with us?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. IHM, the answer to your question is a resounding YES. If she were fighting for her life instead of her child’s, she would be judged. Because she’s a mother. If you’re a mother, you’re fighting for your children. If not, you’re fighting for your family. Husband first, parents later. If you value your life over your family’s, you’re too selfish. If you don’t have a family, you’re a whore. The rules are simple here in India!


  5. Shhh.. dont say such things like -“Would she be judged if she said she was worried for her own safety and health?” aloud . God forbid if she thought of herself and not of her baby or any xyz known to her. She’s a mother. Period. She has no right to think of her own well being. And if she does, she is considered a fallen woman. And no.. we should not protest that thought process or else our treasured values would be in danger.

    Coming back to this particular incident. It is something to feel sorry and ashamed about and not glorify . We have a large chunk of population living a fairly comfortable life. Is it really that difficult for us to do our little bit and help people like Yellavva get access to basic facilities like healthcare, food, sanitation etc.


  6. We only miss the important points in this issue
    – lack of basic facilities
    – that no one heeded to her words- her brothers and father decided what to do and when to go across the river.
    – if she didn’t survive this, her death would have been glorified as a mothers sacrifice!


  7. Would any of those commenters would be willing to trade their lives for hers if she’s such a great and flawless person? I’m going to go with a resounding no.

    It’s wonderful that this woman was able to stay alive and get timely medical care in such awful and negligent conditions. But to make such ridiculous comments is to glorify the pathetic conditions that forced her to act that way in the first place.


  8. I have so had it with all this motherhood is selfless angle. What i see out of this story is the family neglecting to listen and help a pregnant woman and of course lack of basic facilities in our rural areas !


  9. Pingback: Every Hindu woman must produce at least 4 kids: Sakshi Maharaj | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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