The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Another infant left behind in hospital

Same place, same problem. Trouble broke out in Calcutta Medical College and Hospital after an abandoned baby girl was found outside the medicine ward on Tuesday afternoon. This was the third instance in the past month and a half of a newborn being dumped by parents on the hospital premises.

Medical College authorities said two youths discovered the baby in a shrub around 3 pm and alerted a junior doctor. When the shivering baby was handed over to senior doctor Ajit Kumar Biswas at Sishu Nivas, blood was still dripping from the umbilical cord. A slight abrasion near the head was also noticed.

“Our doctors examined the infant and found it to be a day old. The baby is underweight, at only 1.8 kg, and had been abandoned by somebody whom we haven't been able to trace so far,” said hospital deputy superintendent A. Biswas. “It is under constant observation,” he added.

As news of the abandoned baby spread, hospital staff staged a demonstration. “Someone had spread a rumour that the baby had been thrown out of the hospital building. A few youths contesting student elections here are said to be behind this,” alleged Biswas, explaining that the baby would surely not have survived the fall if it had, indeed, been hurled out of a hospital window. The agitation carried on till the local police intervened and restored order.

Even the police were not spared the ordeal of chasing rumours. Officers at the Lalbazar control room received a call that a baby had been kidnapped from the Medical College campus. A team from Bowbazar police station rushed to the spot, only to discover that this was far from the truth.

The two youths who discovered the baby could not be identified by the police or the hospital authorities. “We have conducted a thorough investigation and found that the baby was not born in the hospital. Someone might have left it in the hospital, thinking it would be taken care of by some childless couple,” said Biswas.

The Medical College authorities have, meanwhile, requested the police to probe the role of small nursing homes in the vicinity, who allow patients to take away newborn, unwanted babies, only to abandon them at government hospitals.

The police had, on the earlier two occasions, failed to locate the parents of the abandoned infants.

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