New Delhi, Nov 24 (efe-epa).- A newborn girl, abandoned after being wrapped in multiple sacks, was rescued alive and admitted to a hospital in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh – a region where the birth of a daughter is often seen as a burden – police sources told EFE on Tuesday.
“The girl was discovered by people in the area and the police was informed after that. She was then admitted to a hospital and is now fine,” said Akhilesh N Singh, the additional superintendent of police in Meerut, the city where the incident took place.
He added that the newborn was found on Monday afternoon.
In a viral video aired by local broadcasters, a group of locals can be seen picking up the infant, wrapped in three yellow gunny bags, before someone exclaims “it’s girl.”
Singh said this was the only case of its kind – of a newborn being abandoned – in the city in recent days.
However, this type of incidents have been reported frequently in India, often being confined to pages of local dailies.
In a similar case that also took place in Uttar Pradesh in October 2019, a couple found another newborn girl – who had been buried alive in an earthen pot – while digging a grave for their own dead daughter.
On that occasion, the infant – named Sita – survived, but the police investigation could never find out who had abandoned her and why.
In India the birth of boys is preferred over girls, due to various reasons including the fact that the son is supposed to carry on the lineage, inherit ancestral property and take care of his parents during their old age.
On the other hand, daughters are supposed to belong to their husband’s family after marriage, while their parents are often forced to pay up enormous dowries to get them married.
This social inequality has led to practices such as selective abortion, which continues despite being banned by law and doctors not being allowed to reveal the sex of the fetus to the parents.
According to the 2011 census, there were 7.1 million less girls compared to boys in the 0-6 years age group, while there were just 940 women per every 1,000 men overall among the Indian population, which stood at 1.21 billion at the time. EFE-EPA