A day after a two-day-old girl was found abandoned in shrubs at Chohkan village near here, another female infant, just a few hours old and severely infected, was found by a group of boys in a paddy field at Paddi Jagir village near Goraya around 4pm on Saturday.
Sarpanch Manohar Lal said, "She was not even washed properly after birth. I noticed a wound on her back and even the umbilical cord was not cut off." After she was given first-aid, the traditional "gudti" and milk, doctors reached the village and she was referred to a private hospital in Phagwara.
"The chances of her survival are 50%, as she has septicemia (infection-carrying bacteria in the bloodstream) and has difficulty breathing. The pesticides in the paddy field and the wound on her back made it worse," Dr Chiman Arora, who was attending to her, said. She is to be monitored constantly for another 48 hours.
The Goraya police have registered a case. "I enquired from the local civil hospital about deliveries on Saturday, but got no clue," said sarpanch Lal.
There are several couples willing to adopt the girl. Satnam Singh and his wife Avtar Kaur of Kala village are one of them. "We are paying for her treatment," said the couple, childless after 14 years of marriage. Sukhdeep Kaur, member secretary of the local child welfare committee, said there was no time limit for adoption. For now, after treatment the child would be shifted to one of the social organisations empanelled with the committee.
Saturday's recovery of a newborn girl near Goraya takes the number of girl children found abandoned in Jalandhar district, known as the NRI hub of Punjab, to six in the just over four months.
*Jalandhar's at-birth sex ratio is 913 girls per 1,000 boys as per the latest 2011 census, but the ratio comes down to 874 when seen in the overall age group of 0-6 years.
*On September 7, a newborn girl was found crying in shrubs on the isolated Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road near Chohka village. Even the umbilical cord was intact.
*A two-month-old girl was found near Maqsudan on August 13, while on July 22, a 10-month-old girl suffering from pneumonia was found unconscious at Guru Nanak Mission Chowk.
*A two-and-a-half year old girl was found at the city railway station on July 23. On May 15, a three-year-old mentally challenged girl was found abandoned near the tracks by the railway police.
*All these children are in the care of registered NGOs.