As many as 205 infants, including 58 in Delhi alone, have been found abandoned in cradles placed outside hospitals and other places in different parts of the country, Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi said on Thursday. Several states had placed cradles at various places since the scheme was announced after it was found that the babies were abandoned in waste dumps or bushes, she said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
Gandhi said around 58 babies had been received in Delhi alone, while several children were found in states like Assam, Haryana and others. A total of 205 babies have been received in these cradles so far. She expressed confidence that after the required formalities, these babies would get adopted. The minister said that, according to the scheme, cradles are to be placed outside hospitals and various offices, but not police stations as those dumping their children were unlikely to venture there.
The cradle scheme will be publicised properly in the coming days, she said. She also said that the government had worked on an online system for adoption which has led to an improvement in the functioning of small adoption centres. Gandhi said there were lot of irregularities in the earlier system, which forced people to go to other countries for adoption.
She said that in India, the number of parents willing to adopt a child was much more than the number of children who can be adopted. She also said that on several occasions, the cases related to adoption took an unduly long time in courts.