In a visit to the Sishu Vihar, it is found that most of the infants are either children of minor mothers, victims of prostitution or have neglected their child because he/she is differently-abled or is a girl. (Photo:DC)
HYDERABAD: Cases of newborns being abandoned are on the rise in Hyderabad, according to officials of the women development and child welfare department. Such infants are either thrown out of trains, left in dustbins of hospitals or dumped in garbage bins wrapped in plastic.
Apart from this, children aged 0-6 years are left in dustbins of government and private hospitals by their mothers or other family members, or are abandoned on footpaths, roads, inside autos, buses and railway stations.
In one such instance, a child who was abandoned in a garbage bin, was eaten by maggots and died before the rescue team could reach. In the last six to eight months’ time, more cases of children born out of wedlock being abandoned have been reported.
Minor mothers aged 13-17 years abandon their children or willingly surrender them. These mothers either had an affair with older men who were not willing to marry and take care of the child anymore or were involved with another minor male. Most of them carry babies as they get to know about the pregnancy later.
There are three major kinds of cases found in Sishu Vihar, under the women development and child welfare department. Most of the cases are abandoned cases, followed by surrender cases and CNCP (Child in Need of Care and Protection) cases that means seeking temporary shelter.
In a visit to the Sishu Vihar, it is found that most of the infants are either children of minor mothers, victims of prostitution or have neglected their child because he/she is differently-abled or is a girl. There are many boys too who have been neglected, but girls are more in number.
Then comes a set of children who are abandoned or surrendered because the parents are poor, or have 5-6 children already, followed by single parents who are labourers either sick, or cannot afford taking care of the child. There are also cases where the parents are responsible for not taking care of the child, and when the child suffers some health issues, the parent abandons the child. Shockingly, there are several such cases where the child, especially a girl infant is sold off. In one case, a girl infant was sold by her own alcoholic father for Rs 80,000.
The number of children rescued by the WDCW department has increased in the last two years of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many were just left alone at hospitals as their parents died because of Covid. There are also several children who are rescued from those parents who are beggars, children of prisoners or are POCSO victims. There are also certain cases where parents take a child for adoption but give the child back due to adjustment issues.
In 2022, as of June, there were 92 admissions, out of which 52 were females and 40 males. Of which 66 are aged between 0-2 years. Last year, a total of 60 children were adopted from Sishu Vihar(0-6 years old).
Sishu Vihar has rescued children from Hyderabad, Medchal and Ranga Reddy districts. The child welfare wing takes care of these children and legalises the procedure for adoption and other cases. The cases are followed after calls are received at the child helpline number 1098. The department officials said the first week of handling a child was very difficult as the child was away from the parent. Later they mingle with other children. The police take part in rescue operations with the child helpline officials and child welfare wing. Counselling sessions are given for the parents who neglect their child.
2018: 248 - Girls 143, boys 165
2019: 283 - Girls 143, boys 140
2020: 131 – Girls 70, boys 61
2021: 220 - Girls 112, boys 108
2022: 92 - Girls 52, boys 40
0-2 age group
· 13 abandoned
· 21 surrendered
· 32 in temporary shelter