When the buzzer rang loudly on International Women’s Day on Sunday, employees rushed to the e-cradle. It was a baby girl, again. The e-cradle’s 100th child, they rightly named her ‘Satha Sree.’
Since its inception in 2002, the electronic cradle, where unwanted babies can be deposited safely, has been getting children regularly. The high-tech cradle’s entrance opens automatically when a person enters. He/she can deposit the unwanted baby there in the cradle and return. The electronic buzzer rings loudly once he/she leaves, announcing the arrival of a new one.
<b1>“The two-day-old baby was precariously underweight, so we rushed her to hospital. That’s why we could announce her arrival only on Monday. Doctors have now told us she is out of danger,” State Child Welfare Council general secretary P. Krishnan told Hindustan Times.
The e-cradle’s first child (Nitya) and 100th are both girls. Of the 100 children received, girls outnumber boys 56 to 44. But there’s a silver lining. The majority of foster parents prefer girls for adoption. At least 65 children have been given for adoption and more than 200 applications are pending with the State Child Welfare Council, which funds the e-cradle.
The e-cradle was installed in 2002 after a shocking incident: an abandoned new-born was torn to pieces by street dogs near Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital in broad daylight. In the past few years, not a single child has been abandoned in garbage bins in the city.
A runaway hit, the government is now planning to install such cradles in all district hospitals in the state. “It is a tricky situation. We don’t want to encourage dumping in a big way. We don’t want to legalise it either. But at the same time, we want to protect the dumped ones. After its installation, such incidents have come down drastically,” said Krishnan.