Both abandoned — one gagged to death, another struggling to stay alive. Is this how ‘compassionate’ Calcutta treats some of its newborns' The question haunted Writers’ Buildings, Lalbazar and various organisations on Friday as all efforts proved futile to track down the parents of the two infants found over the past 24 hours.
A baby boy was rescued from a shrub in a small garden outside the gynaecological ward of R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital by an employee late on Thursday. “A member of the hospital staff heard a baby crying in the garden and discovered this newborn in the bush,” said K.L. Tamta, deputy commissioner of police, north division.
The infant is undergoing treatment in the paediatric ward of the emergency wing. “All precautions have been taken so that the child, which was shivering when he was brought in, can be saved from infections,” said A. Ganguly, one of the attending doctors.
Friday saw the police casting the search-net wide for the baby’s parents. After drawing a blank in the hospital, sleuths started scouring private clinics in the neighbourhood.
“The possibility of the baby being abandoned in the garden by an outsider cannot be ruled out. So, we are checking the registers of nursing homes in the area to collect the names and addresses of all the women who gave birth in the past 48 hours,” said a senior officer.
Some couples, keen to adopt the baby, have contacted the hospital authorities.
Thursday night threw up another abandoned newborn — a girl gagged with a filthy cloth in a vat in front of Gyan Chandra Ghosh Polytechnic College on Mominpore Road. “We took the two-day-old infant to SSKM Hospital, where the doctors declared her dead,” said an officer of Ekbalpore police station. “The cloth stuffed into her tiny mouth indicates that the baby was first killed and then dumped in the vat.”
Hardly a month ago, two baby boys wrapped in plastic-sheets were found in the Regent Park area. Both were admitted to M. R. Bangur Hospital by local residents. “Unfortunately, no one has claimed the babies, yet,” said Bhaskar Bhattacharya, chief medical officer of health, South 24-Parganas.
Another newborn girl was found in the Muchipara area three months ago. She, too, has been abandoned by her parents.