Hindu devotees help Muslim pregnant woman deliver baby inside temple


A woman in labour in Mumbai was forced off a taxi by a heartless driver on her way to a hospital on Thursday.

Female devotees sitting on the verandah outside Wadala’s Ganpati temple rushed to help her. The woman was in a critical condition and was about to deliver.

The woman, Noor Jahan Shaikh said that when she saw the temple, she realised God was watching over them.

Ilyaz Shaikh (27) and his wife, Noor Jahan, (24) were relatively relaxed because doctors at Sion hospital had told them her due date would be around 5 October. This is their second child. But Shaikh, who works as an embroidery worker at Antop Hill, was woken up at 4.30 am yesterday by Noor Jahan, who was in labour. He requested a female neighbour to accompany them.

However, because of the narrow lanes of Vijaynagar, they could not reach, even after an hour on the road. By 5.30 am, Noor Jahan was close to delivering the baby. The taxi driver panicked as soon as he heard her scream and told them to get off, as he didn’t want the baby to be born in his vehicle.


Ilyaz said, “We were so worried. My wife was close to delivering the baby and all we could see was a Ganpati Mandir. As soon as we got down outside the temple, some women, who were sitting in the verandah of the mandir, rushed to help us. We didn’t even have to ask. After that, I was called later to see the face of my baby boy.”

The women devotees created a makeshift delivery room with the help of sarees and bedsheets that they brought from their nearby homes. Some old women were at the centre of the circle with Noor Jahan, and within moments, the temple was filled with the cries of a baby boy.

“It was like a scene from a movie! I just couldn’t believe what had happened,” added Ilyaz, excitedly.

Sangita Vangule, one of the women present there, said, “We saw she was about to deliver, so we quickly rushed to help. We put up bedsheets and sarees, but none of us really knew what to do. But it was a normal delivery and she cut the umbilical cord herself.”

Both, mother and the child, who seemed healthy and didn’t show any signs of complications, were then taken back to their residence. After a clean up, the couple headed to Sion Hospital, this time with less anxiety and a lot happier.

“I was tense when I was close to delivering in the middle of the road. But when I saw that there was a temple, I realized that God himself is watching over us. What could be better than giving birth before Lord Ganpati? We are going to name the baby Ganesh,” said Noor Jahan.

The doctors said that both mother and child are healthy and will be discharged soon.



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