Nagalim: New hope for unwed mothers
The initiative started in 2001 when a group of young women thought of helping unwanted babies and saving young mothers from social stigma.
"We are not just saving one life. The babies wouldn't have been here today if not for the home and the grace of God. It's not just this baby, but the life of young girls," said Sendi Chang, counselor.
"In our society, if the girl gets pregnant, they are treated as an outcaste. So we are here to help the girls and save the baby," added Chang.
Among the babies at the home currently, Aaron is the youngest. He's 25-days-old and his mother is from a village on the Assam-Nagaland border.
Just over a month old, Joseph is the quietest. His mother, a 13-year-old girl, almost committed suicide when she discovered she was pregnant.
Timothy is the cry baby of the lot. Timothy's mother comes from a well-to-do Naga family.
Nagaland reportedly has a high rate of abortions amongst teenagers. According to a study done by Mother's Hope two years ago, in Dimapur alone 500 abortions were conducted on an average each month.
In fact, most girls, who come for abortions, are between 12 to 19 years. For many of these girls on the brink of adulthood, the choice between an abortion and bearing the child is a difficult one.
"I was four-and-a-half months pregnant when I came to know about Mothers' Hope. I didn't want to abort my baby. I didn't want to tell mom and dad, so I came here and I've found new hope here. My life is changed. I want to continue my studies," said a young mother.
Mother's Hope has clearly been a Godsend. Since its inception, 106 girls have delivered their babies in secret but hygienic conditions. Some have even taken their babies back home.
Families in and around Nagaland and Assam have adopted other babies, who were left behind. At the last count 69 babies had been adopted.
Words like 'hope', 'dream' which talk about a brighter future, are part of the young vocabulary in Nagaland.
Whether it's the Dream Cafe in Kohima or Mother's Hope in Dimapur, the new generation Nagas are determined to change the way we look at Nagaland.
Far removed from NSCN demands of sovereign Nagaland or a Greater Nagalim, these social changes have started charting a new course of development.