A 21-day-old baby girl was found floating along the Ganga River in a wooden box. The baby was rescued by a local boatman named Gullu Chaudhary, who also serves as a priest.
Gullu Chaudhary came to know of the baby due to her distressed wails. Upon inspection, he found the baby in a wooden box floating in the river. Mr. Chaudhary told local reporters that when people heard the baby girl’s cries, no one stepped forward to help.
“But I rushed to rescue her. When I opened the wooden box, I found her,” he said.
The box was decorated with pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses, and also contained the baby girl’s horoscope.
Ghazipur: A baby girl in a wooden box was found floating in Ganga River yesterday
Locals say, "When people heard sound of crying, they opened the box & found a baby girl. Horoscope of the baby girl & picture of gods & goddesses were placed inside the box." pic.twitter.com/oCZ1790H0e
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) June 16, 2021
The incident created quite a stir as a crowd gathered on the banks of the river. The police also arrived at the scene and took the baby to a hospital for medical assistance. She will be put under observation and then later sent to a shelter home.
Gullu Chaudhary considers the baby a gift from the great Ganga River and has expressed his desire to raise her. However, while praising Gullu Chaudhary, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said his government will make arrangements for the upbringing of the child.
“As a token of gratitude, he will be benefited by all eligible government schemes. The UP government will make arrangements for the upbringing of the child,” the Chief Minister said in a tweet in Hindi.
Officials are investigating how the baby ended up in the river.
They have not speculated on possible motives for the abandonment, however, India’s gender ratio is one of the worst in the world. Women are often discriminated against socially and girls are seen as a financial burden, particularly among poor communities.
Although most unwanted female fetuses are aborted with help from illegal sex determination clinics, cases of baby girls being killed or abandoned after birth are not uncommon either. According to statistics, gender discrimination in India kills about 240,000 girls each year.
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