Girl children are abandoned at birth in premier government hospital in the Indian capital of New Delhi.
While children dumped at birth never make it to police or hospital records, 13 abandoned girls were lucky to be discovered and reported to the pediatrics department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) between August 2004 and December 2007. Three newborn boys were also received during the same period. All of them have now been referred to care centres.
The tales of these babies show Delhi's obsession with the boy child continues, despite the skewed sex ratio. In 2007 alone, seven abandoned girls were reported to AIIMS. One of the rescued newborns was found dumped inside a sack at Sarita Vihar on December 15 last year. Her feeble cries attracted the attention of passersby, else she would have perished in the cold. Five babies were not lucky enough to be discovered in time and they were brought dead
These startling facts and figures came up during an interaction - "Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration of Unknown Babies: Evolving an Accountable System" - attended by experts, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), police and members of child welfare committees at the AIIMS on Thursday. The meet stressed on the need to strengthen the rehabilitation chain, Times of India reports.
Case histories show that most of these babies were found dumped in sacks or in fields, while three of them were found on the AIIMS premises itself. A baby girl was found at the labour room and the circumstances indicated that she was probably born to an unwed mother. In another case, a girl was left to die at a ward.
So, what does AIIMS do with the abandoned kids? The man in charge of such cases, Dhaneswar Yadav, the medical social service officer, pediatrics, said: "The baby is first produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) which passes an order to send the child to a welfare home or organisation." After the child is sent to a care centre, he/she continues to remain under the jurisdiction of the CWC, which monitors the case from time to time till the child is rehabilitated through adoption.
Programme officer, The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Sony Kutty George, said: "Lakhs of children are in need of care but our CWCs are able to deal with only a few thousand. The gap in providing facilities is the biggest lacuna, hence the government needs to create necessary infrastructure."