Hailakandi, Jan.19: Cradle has been installed at the SK Roy Civil Hospital for abandoned newborns here on Tuesday. The District Child Protection Office (DCPO) has put in place cradle so that parents could leave their newborns safely while keeping their anonymity.
The DCPO also plans to expand the scheme in other government-run health centres in the district such as Block Public Health Centres, Ujjwala Homes and Child Care Institutions. Seven cradles have been received from the State Adoption Resource Agency under the Social Welfare Department.
Each cradle is accompanied by a mosquito net, fire-proof mattress and a blanket. The objective of the scheme is to save the deserted babies, who are mostly left at spots far from human activities.
Launching the scheme, SDO (Sadar) cum Incharge District Social Welfare Officer, Jyotirmoy Daimary said it would provide a new leash of life to the babies who are abandoned by their parents under trying circumstances. “Though we do not want to see newborns being abandoned, circumstances force some to do so and in this situation the scheme will give a new leash of life to them,” he quipped.
Speaking on the occasion, Incharge, District Child Protection Officer, Gulzar Ahmed Laskar said, “Installing cradles is to ensure babies are not abandoned in dustbins, bushes, and fields where they are exposed to fatal infections and die. The cradles are a remedy to save these lives.”
Superintendent of SK Roy Civil Hospital, Dr.Sudip Chakraborty, while lauding the initiative, hoped that the cradle scheme would help save precious lives of abandoned newborns.
District Information and Public Relations Officer, Sabir Nishat said the cradle initiative would provide a congenial atmosphere for the unwanted babies to grow up in a healthy way under the tender love and care of health functionaries.
Appreciating the laudable initiative, Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Nilotpol Deb said the scheme would pave the way for abandoned babies to get the much-needed love and care.
The cradle for abandoned babies has been conceptualised in accordance with ICPS guidelines 2018 of the Ministry of Women and Child Development within the Juvenile Justice framework.
19 districts of Assam, including the three districts of Barak Valley have been allotted 131 numbers of cradles for abandoned babies.
“The ANM and GNM staff have been directed to make periodic rounds of the cradle. If a newborn is spotted, it would be rushed to the neonatal care unit and given medical check-up. Once the medical attention phase is over, the baby will be handed over to the Specialised Adoption Agency in accordance to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015”, said Child Protection Officer, Laskar.
The scheme will also help bridge the gap between the number of children available for adoption and the burgeoning list of adoptive parents.
“The idea behind is to encourage parents to come and surrender their unwanted babies in the cradles so that they don’t abandon them. It is a humane and yet anonymous way to give up your child,” added Laskar.