£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 14 November 2022 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more
Papiha’s story
Skip main navigation

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?

This article is from the free online

Making Babies in the 21st Century

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education