May 25, 2020 3:14:06 am
On Saturday around 9 am, Manubhai Bhabhor was on his routine walk to the pond, one-and-a-half kilometres from his home, in Kharwa village of Garbada taluka in Dahod, to have bath and relieve himself.
He noticed that the vast expanse of the empty farm had more to it than just a broken down tractor, the stillness of the pond water and the birds chirping. As he got closer to the tractor, he heard faint cries. Scared and startled, he immediately gathered villagers who began a search to trace the source of the cries. They soon stumbled upon a newborn girl covered in soil — tiny feet, hands and belly, eyes still shut, face partly covered with earth.
They called police and ambulance from the farm, which is a few metres away from the main road. “After making repeated calls to the police, two of us rushed the baby to the hospital. We did not know who had buried her here, but the baby was alive and breathing and we wanted to make sure that she survived. She was so small that we could hold her in our palms,” Bhabhor said.
At the Community Health Centre (CHC) of Garbada taluka, the staff was quick to recognise her. The baby weighing around 850 grams was delivered in the 24th week of pregnancy (six and half months) at the CHC on Friday evening to Hitesh Minama (22) and Manju Minama (20) from Navanagar village in Dhanpur taluka of the district.
On Friday, the couple went to the health centre after Manju complained of excessive pain. “The woman had a lot of complications. She was anaemic and had hypertension. On Friday, she was in labour and we proceeded with the delivery. The baby was premature, she was more like a foetus. In medical terms when a baby weighs less than 1 kg, we call it abortion rather than delivery. We gave the baby CPR and immediately referred them to a private hospital because she had to be admitted under neo-natal critical care to survive,” said superintendent of the CHC, Dr RK Mehta.
“In the morning when the villagers brought the baby here the next day, I could quickly recognise the baby and we informed the parents. We also took the baby to the hospital ourselves and admitted her there,” Dr Mehta added.
She was the first child of Hitesh and Manju. “We were scared. She looked lifeless in our hands. The doctors asked us to take her to the private hospital, but she was not moving. We thought we had lost her… My wife was not well and could not look at our baby who was still. So we buried her at this village and then headed home. But it was dark, we did not know we had not covered her full and she survived… We wished she had survived, too,” Hitesh said.
However, the baby, who survived for over 12 hours after being buried alive and another 30 hours under the critical care, breathed her last on Sunday afternoon. Doctors said that multiple organ failure led to her death. “Generally a baby weighing so less and being born before the seventh month fails to survive beyond three or four days. The chances are very thin. The organs of the baby were immature. Doctors tried to revive her, but could not,” said Dr Mehta.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.