Who: Ronita Krishna Sharma
Category: Mother & Infant Care
What: Offered her breastmilk to infants who either lost their mothers to COVID or whose mothers were in isolation
Why: For offering breastmilk to infants whose mothers had either died of COVID or were in isolation
During the ferocious second COVID wave in India, Ronita Krishna Sharma Rekhi, a Mumbai-based celebrity, and production manager who was in Guwahati then, came across a social media post. It was an appeal for breast milk for a baby in Delhi whose mother was in isolation after being infected with COVID. She thought it was just a matter of time that such a need would arise in Guwahati, Assam. So, on May 4, about two months after the birth of her child, Rekhi put out a social media post, offering her breast milk to all the newly-born in Guwahati whose mother had either died of COVID or were in isolation due to the same disease.
A one-of-its-kind initiative, Ronita Krishna Sharma Rekhi’s bid deserves all the applause and admiration. Hence, Onlymyhealth nominates her for our ‘Healthcare Heroes Awards 2022’, in the category ‘Mother & Infant Care’. This is her story:
‘Here To Help’: Ronita Krishna Sharma Rekhi
The social media post was what prompted Ronita Krishna Sharma Rekhi to start her initiative, she told a leading media house. So, on May 4, she tweeted, “Only for Guwahati as I live here. If any newborn needs breast milk I’m here to help.” She offered that while taking care of her then-two-month-old daughter Alaya Mohsin Rekhi, who was born on March 10. A woman, who is the mother of a single infant, produces surplus milk than her child’s need, as per research.
Rekhi got all the support she needed from her family and friends. Also, she witnessed a shift in the conversation around something as hushed as breastfeeding. While speaking to a leading media outlet, she said, out of 100 texts she received for her initiative, 90 were on how people wanted to talk about this process and experience. Not just that, she also received messages from men, who said they would also encourage their wives to donate their breast milk too.
Thoughts On Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding, which is a natural process just like sleeping or eating, isn’t talked about much in a conservative country like India. “It’s nature. Breastfeeding is a natural process. Just like you and I eat, the baby eats his/her food, which is breast milk,” Rekhi told a media house.
Speaking further on breastfeeding, she said, it is very important and the first step towards mother-child bonding. However, many women face difficulties lactating. It’s alright to talk about it and not feel ashamed that other people would judge them, she said.
Remembering her own experience, Rekhi said, for the first three days since the birth of her child, she faced problems in lactating too. “I was crying,” she said. However, with proper diet and the doctors’ guidance, she overcame that and was able to breastfeed her child, Rekhi added. “We can all help each other by donating to such mothers,” the Mumbai-based production manager said. She also called out for every woman who produces enough milk to donate some to infants in need.
When India was being battered by the coronavirus, there were people like her who came forward and offered help. And for her initiative, Onlymyhealth gives a big shoutout to Ronita Krishna Sharma Rekhi. And if you too want her work to be recognised, then do not miss out on this opportunity and go vote for her.