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'Counselling' given to stolen baby's mom was a formality: Kin

Devdas and Jasmine Naik, the couple whose baby was stolen from the Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity hospital on October 24, are still struggling to come to terms with the shocking loss of their child. Relatives of the couple believe that Jasmine and Devdas are both in urgent need of psychiatric counselling to help them survive the psychological trauma. While Jasmine’s medical records state that she and her relatives have undergone counselling, the family alleges that the notification is nothing but a few words on paper. The ‘counselling’ session, they claim, was a mere formality, and had no real impact on the grieving mother.

Jasmine's mother looks after her at the hospital
Caring: Jasmine’s mother looks after her at the hospital

MiD DAY had reported on the baby theft on October 25 (‘Unidentified woman steals newborn from Parel maternity home’). According to her relatives, Jasmine does nothing but weep the entire day, thinking of her lost infant. “She does not talk to any of us,” said Devdas, Jasmine’s husband, who himself refrains from going into the ward and facing his inconsolable wife. He added, “All she does is weep all the while and when tired, falls asleep. Whenever we try to talk to her, she refuses to communicate and instead enquires about the baby. I am unable to face her in such a state and so sit outside the ward most of the time.”

When MiD DAY visited Jasmine, she only mumbled something incoherently about the baby, and appeared disoriented. Relatives allege that the counselling sessions have been completely ineffectual in helping the couple recover from the trauma. One of them said, “The first question that the doctors asked Jasmine was if she felt like committing suicide. The moment this question was asked, Jasmine broke into tears and started moaning.”

The medical report filed by the psychiatrist treating Jasmine says that she did not cooperate during the counselling session, indicating that the sessions were unsuccessful.

No entry
Following a security beef-up at the hospital, the hospital management is also banning the entry of reporters into the hospital premises. Security personnel appointed at the main gate of Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity hospital have been instructed to deny entry to journalists and even members of the management now refuse to talk to reporters. Asked why entry to journalists has been restricted, sources close to management said that the decision was taken to prevent much media coverage of the baby’s abduction.

Sources at the hospital said, “Special instructions have been given to the newly hired private security staff to deny entry to any media person. While no clarification has been given on why such a decision has been taken, the main intention is to check the family from contacting the media.”

Dr MJ Jassawala, medical director, Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital said, “Reporters are not allowed to enter the hospital premises. It is a decision from the management, hence we cannot allow you to enter.”

The other side
Dr Shubhangi Parker, head of psychiatry at KEM hospital, said, “A resident doctor, Dr Ketan, was sent. He is a fine doctor.” When told that relatives were upset when Jasmine was asked about whether she felt the urge to commit suicide, she responded, “Such a question had to be asked straightforwardly to rule out a suicide. Patients don’t like answering such questions.” 

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