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Life

For Kashmir's pregnant Gujjars, reaching hospital is the hard part

The only way to the maternity ward is usually on a man's shoulders

"When I was pregnant, I would rarely go to the hospital for a check-up, because that would take me a whole day," said Amina Bano, a member of Kashmir's Gujjar and Bakerwal community, one of India's most remote tribes. (Photo by Safina Nabi)

GANDERBAL DISTRICT, JAMMU & KASHMIR -- Amina Bano sits around a traditional hearth in her kitchen in northern Kashmir's Ganderbal district, cooking for her young family. After giving birth to three children in seven years, Amina says her pregnancies were made harder by the complete lack of available medical facilities in her village.

A member of the region's Gujjar and Bakerwal tribe, an ethnic agricultural and pastoral community spread across India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Amina lives in Hill Pati village, one of the most remote mountain areas in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which takes in part of the Himalaya mountain.

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