RATTLED BY several cases wherein infants were abandoned by their biological parents at places across the city, the District Child Protection Unit has decided to put cradles in three more childcare homes in the district to ensure safety of abandoned children.
The decision was taken in the wake of several instances of infants being abandoned in isolated places, be it behind bushes, on the premises of Mansa Devi temple, or left near banks of Ghaggar river by their biological mothers, to evade identification. In such places, there is risk of animal attack on the child, illness as they are exposed to weather conditions or illegal abduction. This has prompted the child protection unit to put more cradles outside childcare homes.
“There is a cradle placed outside Shishu Greha, Sector 15. However not many people were aware of it. So, we have decided to put cradles in more childcare homes and spread awareness about it, so that children abandoned by their biological parents can be safely taken inside the childcare homes,” said District Child Welfare Officer Virender Kumar.
The cradles have been placed outside Bal Niketan, Sector 2, Bal Sadan, Sector 12A and Ashiana, Sector 16. The District Child Protection Unit is also planning to place one such cradle in Mansa Devi Complex. The exact location is yet to be finalised.
In a recent incident, a six-day-old baby boy who was abducted by an unidentified woman from a dispensary in Manimajra was left in a corner of the booth market of Mansa Devi temple. He was later rescued and united with his biological parents by the police.
Another incident was reported early in January, when a newborn girl child was abandoned by her biological parents on the stairs of Mansa Devi temple. Although she was rescued later and identified, she fell ill, and remained admitted in hospital for a week due to sudden exposure to cold weather.
“We want to avoid such cases and create awareness that if people want to willingly abandon their child, they can keep it in the cradles outside childcare homes, without getting noticed,” said Kumar, adding that boards had also been put at various places to spread the word.
The cradle is put in a space created in the boundary wall of the childcare home, which is closed with a mesh-like cover. A person can safely keep the child in the cradle and leave. According to the officials at the child-care home, these alarm-based cradles are such that two minutes after a baby is placed, the alarm bell rings at the childcare home, alerting staffers who can take the child inside.