A funeral of a still-born baby in northern India resulted in a horrible discovery on Thursday. During the burial of their daughter, parents found a flowerpot in precisely the same place with another baby in it, who, miraculously, was still alive. The police speak of an ‘inhuman incident’ and suspect that there has been an attempt at child murder.
In recent years, India appears to be increasingly startled by brutal child murders; young girls, in particular, are victims. The incident in Bareilly last Thursday is seen as a new low point and hits a nationwide bomb. “I thought my daughter had come to life,” said the finder, who was burying his child after a premature birth at the time of the discovery. “The voice just didn’t come from my daughter, but from a jar.”
The found child, who weighed only 2.4 kg and was probably a few days old, was immediately given a bottle of milk and was then rushed to the hospital. Doctors have rescued her life through resolute intervention. They suspect that the girl has been in the pot for a few hours and was buried just before the ceremony. The child, who was given the name Sita, probably survived the drama because her body is relatively small and therefore needs less oxygen.
A local police chief reacted with astonishment to the find. “A very inhumane incident has come to light today at Maninath Cemetery in Bareilly, in which strangers buried a newborn girl in an earthen jar. We are busy tracking down the baby’s parents. We will take strict action against those who have buried the baby alive.”
Murder of girls
It is more common in India that young girls are found in critical condition or even death. Girls are seen as a financial risk. Fetuses are regularly drifted off when it appears that it is a girl. The crooked relationships have encouraged human trafficking. Moreover, in villages, it is increasingly common for men to share a woman because there are relatively few women.
The United Nations has previously called the shortage of girls in India a “national disaster.” Selective abortion is formally prohibited, but it is nevertheless a growing problem in the country. A campaign should restore the boy-girl ratio at birth and ensure that girls receive the same rights, including by giving them better access to education.
In 1971, 964 girls were born in India against every thousand boys’ babies, while in 2011 there were only 918 girls. According to a 2011 British study, 12 million Indian girls may have been selectively aborted between 1980 and 2010. The sex ratio of India is seen as the worst in the world.