ALAPPUZHA: A 37-year-old mother of a poverty-ravaged family on the outskirts has surrendered her newborn to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) saying she was unable to take up the additional burden. The woman making ends meet by selling lottery tickets in Cherthala gave birth to her sixth child, four of them girls, on May 23 at the Women and Children Hospital here and handed over the baby boy the same day. The healthy baby is kept at neonatal care unit of the hospital.
"Four of the Scheduled Tribe mother's other children are minors. The eldest girl is 18 and married," CWC member K. K. Joseph said. "She was the sole breadwinner, making their life with the meagre income from the lottery business. Her husband, a woodcutter, is alcoholic and visits home once in a while. He reaches there to impregnate her." When the CWC contacted her husband, he owned up the responsibility, but he did not turn up.
She arrived at W and C Hospital along with her minor boy on Monday and delivered the next day. The CWC was alerted by doctors after she told them that she was unable to look after one more. Hospital superintendent Dr Muraleedharan Pillai said the newborn was healthy and all organs function satisfactorily. "We got suspicion ever since she came to the hospital because a minor boy accompanied her," he told DC.
"After delivery, when we enquired about the husband, there was no clarity. She said he came home once in a while and this was their sixth child. She had planned to surrender the child in the nearby Ammathottil. Since her bid had failed, she was seeking our help."This is the first such case this year in the district. Last year, two babies (in January and May) were abandoned on the same hospital premises after Ammathottil malfunctioned.On December 31, 2015, Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR), acting on the dire strait of Ammathottil in Pathanamthitta, issued an order urging the CWC to get all 15 of them in the state repaired, but the situation remains the same.