One dad in India reportedly abandoned his 3-day-old baby in a church because his friends made fun of him and his wife for having “too many” kids. The man, Bitto Davis, and his wife Pravitha were arrested and charged with child abandonment and cruelty, according to the New York Post. A police officer gave additional details.
“They already have three sons, aged eight, six and four and this was their fourth child… Bitto spoke of getting mocked by his friends for having four children in such quick succession and I think that is why he was disturbed. His friends would often apparently comment on the size of his wife’s belly and keep prodding whether she’s pregnant… After his wife’s delivery in Thrissur, they took a train to Kochi and arrived at the church to leave the baby.”
Davis was caught red-handed when the church discovered the baby at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and called the police. Upon reviewing surveillance tapes, authorities were able to identify the couple entering St George’s Forane Church in Edapally. A second video revealed the dad walking by stalls and leaving the newborn next to a pillar. The stalls were placed for a Roman Catholic pilgrimage last month, and aren’t normally there, according to the New Indian Express. The video of the dad abandoning the baby has gone viral online after it was aired on TV news stations.
The Davises were arrested two days later on Saturday at their house. Police noted that it didn’t appear that the couple had any financial strains which could have contributed to abandoning a fourth child, saying “They have a two-storey home,” detailed the Indian Express.
The couple faces potentially seven years of imprisonment. The abandoned baby is currently under India’s child custody services, called the Child Welfare Committee. Fortunately, the baby is reportedly healthy.
Free Malaysia Today revealed recently that an estimated 240,000 infant girls under the age of five die each year due to gender discrimination. This number was discovered by a study that was published in The Lancet, a medical journal. The areas that had the highest rates of mortality linked to gender discrimination were in northern India. Researchers explained their findings.
“As the regional estimates of excess deaths of girls demonstrate, any intervention to reduce the discrimination against girls in food and healthcare allocation should therefore target in priority regions… where poverty, low social development, and patriarchal institutions persist and investments (in) girls are limited.”
The Davis incident took place in Kochi, and the couple was from the Thrissur district, which is Southern India. As the Davises apparently don’t have monetary problems, their reason for abandoning an infant may truly be due to taunting by friends, or it could be due to the baby being a girl. Further investigation is likely to reveal more details.