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Parents abandon girl child – for two months

By Anil Sharma, IANS,

Jodhpur : It could be another case of a girl child being abandoned but there’s an unusual twist… a nine-month-old baby was found at the doorstep of a children’s home here with a note in English from the parents saying they were going out of town but would be back to claim her in a couple of months.

Employees at Navjeevan Sanstha, a voluntary organisation that runs two children homes and an old age home in Jodhpur, 330 km from the Rajasthan capital Jaipur, were left baffled by the knock at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

They opened the door to find a baby and a note that said: “We are going out of the city for two months. Please take care of her and don’t give her to anyone else.”

“The employees heard a knock on the door around 9 p.m. Wednesday. When they opened the door, they found a girl aged about eight-nine months. She was wrapped in clothes and crying loudly,” shelter in-charge Bhagwan Singh Parihar told IANS.

The employees found a purse, a milk bottle, some clothes, Rs.800 and a piece of paper lying near her.

“Sometimes children, especially newly-born girls, are left abandoned near the shelter building but this incident is unusual, going by the parents’ request that we should take care of her just for the time being,” Parihar said.

He said the fact that the note is in English suggests that the girl’s parents are educated.

“We have requested the girl’s family members by issuing releases in local newspapers to take the child back in the next few days….say 15-20 days…after which they will have to go through all legal formalities required in such cases,” Parihar said.

Many instances of girls being left abandoned have been reported in the state recently. In July, a newborn girl was found abandoned in a railway crossing control room in Dungarpur district.

According to Census 2011, Rajasthan has 883 girls between the age of 0-6 for every 1,000 boys. The child sex ratio in 2001 was 909.

Alarmed over the state’s skewed sex ratio, the state government recently announced steps to curb pre-natal sex determination tests at ultrasound clinics.

The steps include increasing the number of health department inspection teams and equipping them with devices like hidden cameras and voice recorders.

The state government has also increased the amount of money given to a person who complains about errant ultrasound clinics.

(Anil Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])