A newborn baby girl was found abandoned in a garbage dump in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha. She was rescued from the trash heap and rushed to a pediatric hospital. The baby girl is now in the intensive care unit receiving treatment.
According to the Odisha Samaya, the baby girl was found by BPO workers from Tatwa Technologies volunteering at the garbage dump. They heard the infant crying near the passport office and immediately informed the local police. Initially, the baby girl was admitted to Capital Hospital in Odisha, but she was soon moved to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Postgraduate Institute of Paediatrics, better known as Sishu Bhawan in Cuttack, India.
She is reportedly not doing well, but doctors are working their hardest to ensure the abandoned child survives. Doctors say the baby girl is covered in bruises and is experiencing violent fits.
“The condition of the baby girl is critical,” said Dr. Saroj Satpathy, the director of Sishu Bhawan. “She is admitted at the ICU and a team of expert doctors is looking after her health.”
“The girl was bleeding and was in a very serious condition,” said one of the volunteers who rescued her. “If proper treatment would have been not given immediately she would have succumbed to her injuries.”
It is unclear how the baby girl was left in the garbage dump, but it is likely that the child was unwanted by her parents, either because of her sex or because she was born out of wedlock. Infanticide and child abandonment is a serious problem in third world countries, especially India. According to Sos Children’s Villages, a baby girl is much more likely to be abandoned than a baby boy.
“This is rooted in a cultural bias against girls, whose dowries are costly, for one. The consequences of having an unusual number of ‘missing girls’ is a skewed sex ratio. There are now only 914 females for every 1,000 males in India.”
But not every abandoned baby girl is left behind due to a cultural bias. As the Atlantic reported in 2012, parents are often too impoverished to care for new born children and are forced to make a heartbreaking decision.
“The reasons for abandonment may be varied: an unwed mother facing intense social stigma; parents unable to look after their child, often because it is mentally or physically ill; or, as often is the case in India, simply not wanting a girl.”
To resolve the issue of infanticide, India has began to resort to using baby hatches, which allow mothers who would otherwise abandon their babies to anonymously place their infants in a public cradle to be put up for adoption.
The baby girl found in the Bhubaneswar dump has not yet been claimed. According to the Odisha Sun Times, she’s been given to Childline to be taken care of while the authorities search for her biological family. The shocking abandonment also caught the attention of the Child Welfare Committee of Khurda.
“The baby was lying there but nobody was coming forward to rescue the infant,” said another BPO worker.
“She had injury marks on her head and needed medical attention,” said one of the police officers who took her to the hospital.
According to the New Indian Express, the authorities believe the baby girl may have been left at the dump within the hour of her birth.
What would you do if you found a newborn baby girl abandoned in a garbage dump?
[Photo Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]