A newly-born girl was found abandoned in the corridor of GB Panth Children Hospital in Srinagar. The baby with a birth defect of cleft palate and lip, which doctors said can be fully corrected with surgery, was believed to be abandoned by her parents on Saturday.
"The hospital security found the girl lying in corridor. She is being taken care of in a special ward," said hospital deputy medical superintendent, Dr M Saleem Khan.
"It is agonising to see her unclaimed, even though our caring staff are looking after her. She was neatly kept and well-clothed when found, at least indicating that the family was not extremely poor," Khan said.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby's lip or mouth do not form properly. Doctors said that the defects were completely curable by plastic surgery. The ideal age for undergoing cleft palate repair surgery is 12 months while that of cleft lip is three months.
"But first, someone needs to come forward and own the cute baby," Khan said.
The suspected abandonment of the child has provoked angry reactions from people triggering a debate whether it was the stigma associated with such defects or unawareness about the treatment among people responsible for these incidents.
"Many government and private hospitals, besides some NGOs, are providing free treatment to such patients. I think if her parents were aware, they would not have abandoned her," said a doctor who himself cures such patients free of cost.
But others attribute it to 'distorted thinking' in society. "It is really sad that even today; these shame full acts are taking place. And yes if it was a cleft palate boy, then the situation may not have been like this," said Radiyah Bhatt, while commenting on a debate about the issue on Facebook.
A chain of people including doctors, journalists, students and social workers have connected on Facebook expressing their will to help the baby.