On Sunday, 25-year-old Rosario, a resident of Salem district, Tamil Nadu, was out on a night stroll with his friends Shanmugavel, Thangaraj and Arun Pranav. The four friends traipsed through the Vellakalpatti area. But as soon as they neared Dalmia Board, soft whimpers from a clearing perturbed them.
Maybe it was a helpless puppy or kitten stuck under the mound of garbage and bushes, they thought.
They sifted through the pile to find the source of soft wails using their phone torches and realised it came out of a plastic bag.
To their utter shock, inside that plastic bag, lay a newborn baby girl, struggling to breathe.
In an interview with The News Minute, Rozario said, “We were stunned and horrified. Even the umbilical cord had not been cut. A huge rock was placed on top of the bag. This broke the baby’s right leg and left hand.”
Acting on instinct to save the child, the four boys called their other friends Prakash, Dhanush, Dharani, and Mohan. They also joined hands to tear the bag to allow the baby to breathe.
They also contacted the police at 6:45 pm, who asked them to “administer the first aid that they knew”.
Clueless, the group of friends tried to do their best, till the police arrived by 8 pm.
Rozario even shared a video on Twitter about finding the abandoned baby. You can watch it below:
To make sure they did not inconvenience the injured baby any further, the boys made more breathing room for her using their handkerchiefs.
They immediately rang one of the doctors they knew, who suggested they feed the baby with glucose or milk. They quickly wrapped the baby in a clean towel and fed her cow’s milk.
Recounting the struggle, Rozario added, “It was raining very heavily that day. It stopped raining only after 5.30 pm. Only after that, we could venture out. So when we saw the bag, it was fully drenched. Because it was polythene, the water thankfully didn’t enter the bag. And because it was covered by the rock, a dog didn’t touch it. Else a dog may have killed and eaten the child. We felt very bad for the baby.”
He says how even a few hours of delay could have cost the baby’s life, since the area of her abandonment was an isolated space, with nothing other than a school at some distance.
Once the police reached the spot, the baby was taken to a hospital. The doctors there revealed how she was barely a few hours old.
“The child has been admitted to the Salem General Hospital. An investigation is on, and a team has been formed to hunt for the culprits involved in dropping the baby there,” an investigating officer from the Suramangalam Police Station told TNM.
The baby is now being treated under the government’s Cradle Baby Scheme at the hospital. Rozario and his friends who have developed a deep bond with the child after rescuing her have been trying to visit her.
“Yesterday, when we went, they didn’t allow us in. But we protested. They finally allowed us to see the baby through a monitor. That’s when we were satisfied that the baby was safe and fine,” he told TNM.
They are now in the process of applying for special permission from the Dean of the hospital to visit the child.
We salute the selfless efforts of the young men, whose quick action gave the baby girl a new lease of life. We hope that she receives the required medical care and recovers soon.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)