New Delhi: A mother's journey with her preterm baby is captured through budding artists in a series of artworks, which aim to raise awareness about problems faced by mothers and babies due to premature deliveries.
Titled "Voice of the Voiceless," the series held here recently is a collaboration between the Indian Foundation of Premature Babies (IFPB), Abbott India and the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai.
"India has about 4.2 million babies who are born premature every year. There is a lack of infrastructure in the country to give proper facilities to these babies. The challenge is to ensure that once the preterm baby is saved, they continue to have a quality life without any disability or problem in their health," says Dr Lata Bhat who heads the Department of Neonatology at Fortis Hospital.
Prematurity is said to be a leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in India. About 6 million babies are born preterm or premature globally in which one fourth is contributed by India alone. Preterm babies are those babies who are born before completing the full term of 40 weeks.
They are vulnerable to birth defects such as hearing disability, disruptive vision and cerebral palsy.
Bhat says, the idea of the exhibition was to create awareness amongst mothers since "the pain, trauma and shock of delivering a preterm neonate for a mother are immense with the baby facing problems like visual impairment, hearing impairment, and low IQ level."
The exhibition comprises a series of 28 pictures depicting the seven stages of pregnancy
Each painting is accompanied with a description. For instance an artwork by Amol Ajit Khade portrays nine small feet painted on a clock which signifies the full term growth of the baby.
Artist Atul Bangal attempts to show the pain of separation that a mother has to go through when her premature child is sent to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Pallavi Karvikar has painted an empty cradle to express the feeling of emptiness while Swapnil Ragade in her painting titled 'The White Bed' has shown that both life and death are in white dress with a crow representing a bad omen.
"We believe that art is the best form of expression to touch the human emotions and create awareness. It can strike a major chord with the masses. Rightly a picture speaks 1000 words," says Dr Bhat.
"Early intervention is the best way to keep a check on these problems. The campaign aims to create a liaison between the general public on social media," says the organisers.