Good Businesses 2013

Fruits of labour

With low-cost birthing kits, Ayzh holds out hope for rural women

Photographs by RA Chandroo

For Zubaida Bai, like most people, statistics meant little more than numbers. Until she nearly became one herself. A serious and prolonged infection during the birth of her first child jolted her into thinking about the risk millions of women face worldwide and not just in India, and what she could do about it. A May 2012 fact sheet by World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that around 800 women were dying every day from preventable causes and complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 99% of these occur in developing countries. In fact, two-thirds of women in Indian villages give birth at home without the help of skilled attendants.