By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This story, which is part of our ongoing series of looking back at what appeared in NRL News Today one year back, combines the tragedy of a baby left to die with the blessing of her being miraculously rescued.
In the category of life is stranger than fiction and miracles truly do occur, a heartbroken father, in the process of burying his own prematurely delivered daughter, “found an infant girl buried alive in a clay pot about three feet (90cm) below the ground in India,” RT News reported today.
How could the baby, thought to be buried alive for two days, possibly survive? “She reportedly needed less oxygen to survive as she was premature,” The Mirror reported.
Hitesh Kumar, the stillborn’s baby’s father, told local media, “The family had been preparing to bury their stillborn daughter in a cemetery in Uttar Pradesh, India, when they found the baby inside a clay pot and wrapped in cloth two feet underground.”
According to The Mirror’s Chris Flanagan, Kumar
told local media that at one point he thought his daughter had come back to life, before realising the cry was coming from the pot.
RT. com reported that the baby girl “was breathing heavily when she was discovered. He [Kumar ] immediately raised the alarm with the authorities and fed the baby milk while he waited for rescue workers to arrive.”
At last report, the baby girl, who has been named Seeta by hospital staff, was in stable condition with a lung infection. She is being fed every two hours.
Tragically, as Flanagan reported, “female infanticide is not uncommon in India, which has 866 girls under seven for every 1,000 boys in New Delhi, according to its 2011 census.”
Dr. Neelam Singh, a local gynaecologist, said the problem was “rampant” but added more cases are found in the country’s northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Abortion rates for baby girls have reportedly increased since ultrasound technology became more accessible in the 1970s, despite sex-selective abortion being outlawed in 1994.
Vimal Kumar , the head of the local neonatal intensive care unit, told RT.com, “As of now, her life has been saved. We are trying to trace the girl’s mother.”