Temple priest turns saviour for abandoned Delhi infant

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) A four-month-old baby girl, wrapped in blanket, was found abandoned near a temple in a forested area by a priest here on Saturday, police said.

The baby was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) child care centre where her condition was stated to be “fit” with no trace of her parents.

The priest, Sandeep Shastri, who stays in the temple, told IANS that he heard the baby’s cries around 8 a.m. near the temple in Tughlakabad village when he had gone to answer nature’s call.

The baby was crying at the top of her voice, shivering from cold and hunger, he said, adding he inquired about her from the locals and later informed the police.

“I heard the child crying and ran for help. Fortunately, dogs who roam around the temple for eatables, did not attack her. Her parents may have dumped her early morning in the forest,” Shastri said.

A police officer said doctors at AIIMS have declared her “medically fit”.

“We are seeking help of some private NGOs for her,” the officer said.

“The police are investigating the matter and trying to locate her parents. A team with the child’s photograph is also inquiring in the surrounding areas to find her mother,” the officer said.

Abandoned babies are a perpetual problem in India where, according to a report by Justice Verma that was tasked to look into the amendments to present criminal law in 2013 in the wake of increasing number of crime against women in the country.

The report said that some 60,000 babies are abandoned every year in India due to various reasons, including poverty. A majority of the abandoned babies are girls.