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Papiha's story

Meet Papiha. A young woman from Gujarat in Northwestern India, Papiha does not have many options when it comes to earning a living. That is why she has decided to become a surrogate.

Her plan is to earn enough for her husband to be able to buy a rickshaw. With a steady income from a rickshaw business, Papiha and her family could greatly improve their economic prospects in life.

However, pregnancy is rarely easy, and the emotional burden of carrying someone else’s child is taking its toll on her. Despite the support she receives at the fertility clinic, Papiha finds that she has to stop herself from becoming too attached to the newborn baby that she carried for nine months.

We first meet Papiha towards the end of her pregnancy, and then we return at the end after she has given birth to the twins.

Papiha’s story comes from a documentary called ‘A Mother’s Dream’ (‘Ma Na Sapna’, 2011), which follows six gestational surrogates at a clinic in the Northwest of India.

The film is directed by Valerie Gudenus and produced by Journeyman Pictures.

For your discussion: What do you feel watching Papiha’s story? What thoughts and feelings did hearing it evoke for you?

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This video is from the free online course:

Making Babies in the 21st Century

UCL (University College London)