Mumbai, March 27: Filmmaker Karan Johar, whose surrogate children Roohi and Yash were born almost 10 weeks before full term, says those who have premature babies must not get discouraged. He says with right kind of care, they can be nurtured towards normal growth.
Karan earlier this month announced that he has become a father of twins via surrogacy. The children have been under the care of Bhupendra Avasthi, Director, Surya Mother & Child Hospital, and Karan says they are "both on their way to a happy and healthy childhood".
Now as someone with a voice, he wants to reach out to people about the virtues of neonatal intensive care for premature children.
In a post shared on social media on Monday, Karan said: "Millions of preemies are born every year... but babies are resilient. With the right kind of care, they stand just as good a chance of survival as anyone else."
Karan said his children were born two months premature and were "worryingly underweight".
"My heart sank... Knowing that there were complications with my babies' birth owing to how soon it was, I was terrified. All I wanted to do was hold them and protect them but they needed to be in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). It was painful to see how tiny they were."
The filmmaker, known for his family dramas, has thanked the legal and medical teams for being his "strength and spine" during the process.
Karan's post has come in support of Surya Hospital's #SavePreemies campaign.
"Having a premature baby is something you don't expect to happen to you. The whole experience has ignited a passion in me to help premature babies get the best chance they can... to help those in anguish who want the best chance of survival for their early born babies," Karan said.
"Premature babies, when provided with the right kind of care, have just as good of a shot of making it, as babies born on time. If your baby is a preemie, don't be discouraged. Seek help... Don't lose faith, don't lose heart."
A celebrity's effort to highlight an issue can make a difference, says Avasthi.
"Premature babies are not fully equipped to deal with life in our world. Their little bodies still have underdeveloped parts that include the lungs, digestive system, immune system and skin."
"India needs many more NICU units for its ‘preemies' where they can survive the first few days, weeks or months of life until they are strong enough to make it on their own," Avasthi told IANS.