For weeks now,a mentally-challenged woman,36,has made the corridor outside Neonatal ICU of Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital in Jammu her home. Inside is her child she gave birth to two months ago.
She was brought to the hospital on March 24 after a passerby informed police that a mentally-challenged woman who had been living behind an auto-rickshaw stand at Kachi Chowani for years was lying unconscious by the road.
She was in labour.
She delivered a boy a few hours later; the police went searching for her rapist. They havent found him yet.
Doctors discharged the mother a week later but shifted the child to the ICU because she was unfit to take care of him and the police were reluctant to take them. The doctors have been insisting that we take their custody but where will we then take them? asked a police officer.
The police are also not keen to give the child for adoption because that would mean separating the boy from his mother. Sub-Inspector Manpreet Singh,who led the team that brought the women to hospital,said he had approached several NGOs but none of them were willing to accept the mother and the child.
The doctors had referred the mother for treatment to the Psychiatric Hospital in Jammu,but it refused to take her without an attendant,a police official said. So,the police moved the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate for directions. The court will hear the matter on May 27.
Till then,the police have sent two women constables to be with the mother to ensure she remains in hospital.
Concerned that prolonged stay in the ICU would expose the boy to the risk of infection,SMGS Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Dara Singh requested Jammu district magistrate A K Sahu and the social welfare director to rehabilitate the mother and her child soon.
Sahu has ordered a medical board to examine if the womans condition would allow her to take care of the child. Once that is settled,Sahu said,his administration would work to rehabilitate them.