Unfolding in Haryana - saga of abandoned girls
Rohtak (Haryana): A leading medical health institution in Haryana, not far from the national capital, is grappling with a peculiar problem - an increasing number of abandoned newborn girls who were brought there in a critical condition.
In the last 10 days alone, four such baby girls have been admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak, the hometown of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, 70 km from Delhi.
"Incidents of abandoned infant females have recently shot up in an astonishing way. Earlier, one or two cases that too over a long period of time would come to the notice of PGIMS," Ashok Chauhan, medical superintendent (MS), said.
In all the recent cases, the condition of the abandoned girls has been very serious or critical. These girls were brought from different parts of the state.
"We inform the deputy commissioner's (DC) office for further action when the condition of baby girl becomes normal. The DC's office later makes arrangements for shifting the infant to child care homes from PGIMS," Chauhan said.
Haryana continues to be the state with the worst sex ratio in the country with just 877 females per 1,000 males, as per Census 2011. In the 2001 Census, Haryana had fared worse with a sex ratio of only 861 females per 1,000 males.
On April 18, an infant female with multiple infections was rushed to PGIMS after being referred from the Civil Hospital in Bhiwani district.
"The baby was found in a critical condition, abandoned at HUDA Park in Bhiwani. Now she is recuperating in the child nursery of PGIMS," said Jagdish, a volunteer of Hariom Seva Dal, who is taking care of her.
Two days later, another baby girl recovered from a dustbin near Ram Chowk in Gurgaon was brought here. "The girl is now out of danger," a doctor at PGIMS said.
On April 23, a three-day-old baby girl with acute liver infection was admitted to PGIMS by her parents.
"While medical treatment was being given to her, the parents abandoned her April 27. The condition of the baby remains critical," said Subhash Bhatnagar, volunteer of Jan Seva Sansthan, who has been taking care of her.
Another baby girl, who was found near a bus stand of Dharuhera town in Rewari district, was rushed to PGIMS April 27. The girl is suffering from multiple diseases but is said to be responding to medical treatment.
An abandoned baby girl was found in Sonipat district Sunday. In February this year, a woman fled after delivering a baby girl in the toilet of the casualty ward of PGIMS.
Rajeev Gupta, chief of the psychiatry department at PGIMS, said "There is an urgent need to bring a change in the approach of a male-oriented society towards girls. Women will have to come forward to counter this distressing trend."
Expressing concern, Mukesh Kumari, a social activist, said such incidents were increasing even as women's organisations in Haryana were "striving round-the-clock to alter the orthodox mentality of society towards girls".
Sunita, who works with a women's outfit, said: "Haryana is already facing an acute shortage of girls. The next generation will have to face dire consequences if concrete steps are not taken to counter it."