Cradle of love

Thousands of babies are abandoned or thrown at random every year in India for no fault of theirs. The statistics on the number of babies abandoned or thrown or killed after its birth go unreported as many cases don’t come to limelight. To bring a permanent solution to this inhuman act, a novel initiative ‘Mamatheya Thottilu’ (Cradle of Love) was recently initiated in the heritage city last week.

Department of Women and Child Welfare launched this much-needed initiative ‘Mamatheya Thottilu’ to save those ‘unfortunate’ newborns that are abandoned at various places. The initiative aims at protecting newborn babies by keeping them safe and protected even after they are deserted by their parents. The new initiative will secure the infant and the concerned authorities recruited to rescue the baby will shift it to an adoption home for future care.

Speaking to City Today about this novel initiative, Deputy Director of Women and Child Welfare Department, K Radha said, “In a year at least five to eight newborn babies are abandoned in various places in Mysuru district. The reasons for abandonment may be varied: an unwed mother facing strong social stigma, parents unable to look after their child, not wanting a baby girl or any other reason may make them abandon or throw the infants. With an intent to save those newborn babies thrown at various places, the Mamatheya Thottilu will act as a bridge where a parent, not willing to look after their baby, can come forward and drop it in the cradle kept at various general hospitals which will secure the infant and later, the concerned authorities recruited, will shift the baby to an adoption home for future care.”

“The new cradle is developed with the help of authorities of the National College of Engineering where an alarm is fitted to the cradle. It starts ringing for a few minutes after the baby is placed in it. Parents who keep the babies in the cradle will have ample time to leave the place and the identity of the person who puts the baby in the cradle will be protected and no legal proceedings will be initiated against them,” she added.

One such cradles is now placed at Cheluvamba Hospital and in the coming days,   around 20 cradles will be placed at all the general hospitals in the district. Babies left in cradles will be handed over to government-run Bapuji Home, which takes care of babies before shifting them to adoption centres.

Mysuru becomes the second city in the state to follow this initiative by the Department of Child and Women Welfare. A few people are apprehensive that the new initiative may be misused, resulting in increase in number of such cases. But a department official says that there are hundreds of legal adopters and parents waiting to adopt such babies and the scheme will not be misused.

On the positive side of the scheme, as one official puts it, the number of incidents where    parents abandon their unwanted babies on roadside, secluded places, near drainages and on garbage heaps, will come down drastically.

Mamatheya Thottilu is a good initiative with a human touch. Only time will tell us to what extent it will be successful.

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