In Delhi, 2 babies are abandoned every day
According to data from adoption agencies, abandoned girl children outnumber boys.
New Delhi: At least two babies are abandoned in Delhi every day. And a majority of them are girls. Those who remain unnoticed, die silent deaths.
Only lucky ones, who catch the attention of a passerby or the police, are rescued and land up in adoption agencies. Some of them, like Falak, catch the nation's imagination.
In 2010, the Child Welfare Committees (CWC) in Delhi received 745 kids, according to information obtained by the NGO Pratidhi through RTI. As per the law, abandoned children fall into two categories — children in need of care and protection, and children in conflict with the law. Children belonging to the former category are produced before the CWC.
Therefore, the total number of abandoned children will be much higher if children in conflict with law are added to this figure (745).
Data provided by adoption agencies show that abandonment is higher in case of the girl child. In 2010, adoption agencies in the national capital received a total of 117 children. More than half of them were females. In year 2009, adoption agencies received 102 children.
As many as 590 children landed in Delhi’s adoption agencies during 2007-09. In other words, at least one child per day was received by the agencies.
"The cases of abandonment have always been higher in case of the girl child as compared to boys,’’ said Dr Bharti Sharma, child rights expert and former chairman of a CWC in Delhi.
Pointing to trends in abandonment of babies, Anant Asthana, an advocate with Human Right Law Network (HRLN), a Delhi-based NGO, said, "There is no data on people who abandon babies, but in majority of the cases, the parents belong to middle and lower middle class families."
Increasing cases of broken marriages and rapes result in higher number of abandoned children every passing year, said Asthana.
In Falak's case, the parents are yet to be traced. This, said Dr Sharma, might be a case of trafficked child. "Based on the police's version, we are assuming that this is an abandoned child. But she might be a trafficked child. Someone might have stolen her for trafficking or adoption. We don't have stringent mechanisms to prove the contrary," she said.
In 2010, a total of 10,670 children were abducted in the country, as per the National Crime Records Bureau data. This was a 19.3 percent rise as compared to the previous year (2009). Delhi accounted for 27.9 percent of the total cases.
The RSS is a party that has lost its ideological moorings, pursuing power in the absence of vision, saddled with a leadership that cares less about its core values – i.e. Hindutva – than playing kingmaker. But is this cause to celebrate or worry?