A baby girl who was only 5 days old when she was found in a drain in India’s financial capital of Mumbai has been discharged from hospital.
The baby, who left hospital on Wednesday, was rescued after a “good Samaritan” called the Pant Nagar Police Station to report that a baby wrapped in cloth had been “dumped in a drain,” Mumbai Police tweeted Monday. “He was alerted when the neighbourhood cats created a ruckus,” Mumbai Police said.
Senior Police Inspector Suhas Kamble told CNN that the baby was rescued Sunday by Sheetal Sonawane, a female constable who is part of one of Mumbai’s women’s safety units known as the Nirbhaya squad.
The squads were established in every Mumbai police station after the alleged rape and murder of a 34-year-old woman in Mumbai earlier this year. The squads are named after the pseudonym used to identify the victim of a 2012 gang rape and murder in Delhi that shone a global spotlight on shocking rates of sexual assault in India.
The baby was admitted to Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai and was kept under observation before being discharged on Wednesday to the police, according to Vidya Thakur, medical superintendent of the hospital.
“She was completely fine when she was admitted but we were a little worried because she was abandoned and found in a drain, but she was fine,” Thakur told CNN on Thursday. “Our doctors immediately treated her… she was discharged yesterday, she is doing fine.”
After being discharged from hospital the baby was handed over to Mumbai’s Child Welfare Committee and is being taken care of at a shelter home, said Kamble.
On Sunday the police registered a first information report (FIR) against unknown persons for “exposure and abandonment of child under twelve years, by parent or person having care of it,” according to the relevant section of India’s penal code.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Kamble added.
Gender inequality is pervasive in India, where a preference for sons has given rise to the birth of millions of “unwanted” girls who often face discrimination in their communities.
A 2020 report by the United Nations Population Fund said, “between 2013 and 2017, about 460,000 girls in India were ‘missing’ at birth each year.” “Missing” girls refers to the number of girls missing from the population within the time period as a cumulative effect of sex-selection practices.
In October 2019 a 4-day-old baby girl was rescued after she was found buried alive in a cemetery in northern India.
The infant was pulled to safety by an unsuspecting couple in Uttar Pradesh state as they were burying their own child who had died in hospital.
CNN’s Jack Guy contributed to this report.