Ganesh Chaturthi

One call can save a baby

20 December,2010 06:57 AM IST |   |  Poornima Swaminathan

If you spot an abandoned new born baby, a phone call to the nearest police station can help the infant find a caring and loving family. A little concern on your part can change the child's life forever

If you spot an abandoned new born baby, a phone call to the nearest police station can help the infant find a caring and loving family.u00a0A little concern on your part can change the child's life forever

They are usually born out of wedlock, extra marital affairs or with handicaps. Or worse still, cursed because they are of the female gender.

Though officially, the number of abandoned infants in the city is decreasing, if you do spot one, do not ignore it.

Just a phone call to the police will ensure the infant is sheltered and taken care of. According to the police, infants are usually abandoned at railway platforms, garbage bins, outside temples or in deserted lanes.

If you spot an abandoned infant, call up the local police station or the Mumbai police control room number.

Once that is done, the police will rush to the spot and take custody of the infant. By law, the police are empowered to take custody of an abandoned infant under diction 32 of the Juvenile Justice Act to ensure that it does not fall into wrong hands, such as the begging mafia.

"Once we take custody of the child, we take it to a child welfare institution and produce the child in front of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which decides on the further course of action," said Sunil Deshmukh, senior police inspector, Matunga.

Once that is done, depending on the medical condition of the child, the court decides if the child needs medical treatment and sends it to institutions that take care of abandoned infants.
Meanwhile, the police begin investigation to trace the parents of the child and register a case against them.

A report is submitted to the CWC after which the child is declared free for adoption after a waiting period of five months.

"When the child is in these organisations, the government spends for their welfare and well being," said Dr Shaila Mhatre, chairperson, CWC.

Helpline numbers:

Prafulla Nakhawa Chawl
Chandani Koliwada,
Thane (E) 400603
Karmayogi: Fr. Joe D'Gama
Tel: 25854805
Website: www.aasara.orgu00a0
Sheltering of street-children as well as abandoned children and orphans.

Asha Sadan - MSWC
Children Section
Asha Sadan Marg
Mumbai - 400009
Karmayogin: Dina Bilimoria/Maya Gidwani
Tel: 23715477 / 23740397 / 23715477
Fax: 23701281

Manav Seva Sangh
255/257 Seva Sangh, 3RD Floor, Near Gandhi Market Kings Circle, Sion Road, Sion, Mumbai - 400022
Hindu Women's Welfare Society Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram
Maheshwari Udyan
King's Circle
Shraddhanand Road
Mumbai - 400019

Numbers Game

Number of babies that were abandoned in 2009

Number of babies abandoned in 2008

Number of abandoned babies in 2006

In 2010, 146 adoptions were registered in Mumbai and 20 in Thane.

70 NRI adoptions recorded this year, as compared to 140 last year


According to figures available with the Indian Council of Social Welfare, (ICSW), which assists courts in granting final adopting rights

Number of Child Welfare Committees across Maharashtra

A resident couple has to wait an average of 15months to 2years to adopt a child in India

36months waiting period for NRI couples to adopt an Indian child

5Years: The longest waiting period to adopt an Indian child is for foreigners

Santosh Shinde, executive director, Balprafulta, NGO

If you spot an abandoned infant, always the call up the police as it saves the citizens from inconvenience. There is a law to be followed that ensures the safety of the child. After the procedures are completed, the infant is declared free for adoption. However, infants with abnormalities or handicapped children find it difficult to be adopted in Indian families. Usually, foreigners adopt such children.

abandoned new born baby infant mumbai marital affairs