In a little town tucked away in the milk belt of Gujarat, a group of women have redefined motherhood.
Akanksha Fertility Clinic, run by Dr Nayna Patel in the town of Anand, brings together couples who want children and women from low-income families who are willing to be surrogates.
It all began in 2003, when a young woman's marriage nearly broke down because she couldn't conceive. Lata Nagla's mother, Vidhyaben Valand, decided to step in, and became a surrogate to her own grandchildren.
Images of her welling up as she kissed the twins she had borne goodbye made for a moving climax to a dramatic story.
''A lot of people began to make enquiries after the media publicity that case received,'' says Dr Nayna Patel in an exclusive interview.
''At the same time that a couple was looking for a surrogate, the daughter of a midwife at my clinic was suffering a bad financial crisis. Her husband even attempted suicide! When the midwife heard people would pay a surrogate, she said this could help her daughter save her husband's business. I thought oh, so here's something that will help everybody involved.''
Now, there is a community of 350 surrogate mothers in this town of 150,000 people. Since she was featured on Oprah, Dr. Patel has had her hands full with enquiries both from abroad and India. More than a hundred couples have been waitlisted.
Text: Nandini Krishnan
Image: Dr Nayna Patel with a surrogate mother, the couple for whom the surrogate bore the child and the baby.