Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde to be 'godfather' to newborn found near rail track

Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 08:12 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Dhananjay Munde immediately called up the doctors at the hospital and directed them to take proper care of the baby

Dhananjay Munde with the newly born baby. Picture courtesy/ IANS Twitter account
Dhananjay Munde with the newly born baby. Picture courtesy/ IANS Twitter account

In a heart-warming gesture, Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde has rushed to the aid of a severely malnourished, pre-natal female baby dumped on thorny bushes near railway tracks in his native village Parli in Beed district. On Monday, some people passing by the railway line heard painful wails of a baby and were shocked to see the newborn, precariously lodged on a thorny bed of the acacia plant. "Someone called me up from there and informed me of this shocking find. I immediately called up the doctors at the hospital and directed them to take proper care of the baby," Munde told IANS.

A father of three young daughters himself, Munde said he was deeply moved after hearing the plight of the rejected female child, and decided to help her on humanitarian grounds. "The infant weighs barely 1.5 kgs and it is imperative that she should gain weight to at least 2-2.5 kgs over the next one month or so. She is under good care now," Munde added.

Maharashtra NCP Youth Wing Vice President Santosh Munde said the child was first rushed to the local Civil Hospital, but as her condition appeared very critical, "(Minister) Mundeji asked us to shift her to a private hospital and we rushed her to the Randad Hospital in Parli in the evening". "She was put under the care of Dr Vijay Randad," he said. Randad said that the girl's medical examination revealed that she was a prematurely born baby, aged between 28-30 weeks (around seven-and-half months) but grossly underweight.

"We immediately started her treatment last night... She had suffered a lot of injuries from the thorny bushes but none appear to be very serious as of now. Today, we put her on IV fluids and started feeding her. She has accepted one feed successfully and we will gradually increase the quantity," Randad told IANS. However, he admitted that though critical she is stable, but will need to gain weight to lead a healthy life and all efforts are underway to ensure this. Randad said he was "90 percent confident" that the child will overcome the ordeal successfully after proper treatment without any permanent scars.

An anxious Munde - who was on the phone monitoring the baby's condition till early on Tuesday - was finally relieved and slept only after the doctors declared she was "out of danger", revealed an aide. For starters, the minister has named the baby as 'Shivkanya' and decided to take care of her complete treatment expenses and later get her admitted to a good orphanage for her upkeep.

"There will be many legal formalities to be completed, but I have not yet decided on formally adopting her yet," Munde added. Impressed by her colleague's gesture, NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter and MP Supriya Sule has also decided to chip in and promised to take care of Shivkanya till she attains marriageable age, if necessary.

Locals say it is a miracle that the baby emerged unscathed from attacks by wild creatures or reptiles or insects and has got a new lease of life thanks to the minister. Meanwhile, taking serious cognizance of the desertion, the Beed police have launched a hunt to nab the couple which had thrown her away to her certain death, said an official.

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