The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shrub baby in nurses’ care

A newborn, found in a critical condition in a shrub on the premises of R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital on Thursday night, is “responding to treatment” in the paediatric ward.

Doctors attending to the baby boy, abandoned hours after birth, said he had developed serious complications late on Friday, but had been recovering steadily since Saturday afternoon.

“The child was undernourished when he was brought in. Now, with adequate nourishment, he is responding to medication,” one of them said on Sunday.

Hospital superintendent Chandan Sen said he was monitoring the condition of the baby, found by an employee in a shrub outside the gynaecological ward.

The police, meanwhile, have all but given up hope of tracking down the infant’s parents. “We haven’t been able to identify the child’s parents, despite having launched a massive hunt,” admitted deputy commissioner of police (north) K.L. Tamta.

The hospital staff are now tending to the baby as their own. “We shall look after Khoka till his parents are traced or someone comes forward to adopt him,” said one of the nurses.

The hospital authorities have also initiated a probe to unearth the mystery behind the dumping of the baby in the bush. “We are probing if the boy was smuggled out of the paediatric ward and later dumped in the bush,” said an official.

A report on the baby has been sent from R.G. Kar to the health department. Officials at Writers’ Buildings said that superintendents of various government hospitals have been urged to step up vigil in their paediatric wards to curb the alarming trend of newborns being dumped in or around medical centres hours or days after birth.

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