For 29-year-old Pramila Dalai, a nightmare turned into a dream when it was discovered that her newborn baby - allegedly dumped into a dustbin by hospital staff thinking he was dead - was actually alive.
The authorities at Capital Hospital, Orissa's biggest government hospital here, admitted that doctors had mistakenly believed the baby was stillborn but denied he had been dumped into a dustbin.
Pramila delivered after midnight on Tuesday but as her baby did not cry, the hospital staff thought he was dead.
"When I asked them, they said the baby was stillborn and put the body in the dustbin," said Pramila's husband Sudhir Dalai (34), a marginal farmer.
Two hours later, the baby's aunt brought him out of the dustbin and found him alive. The baby has since been kept in the hospital's intensive care unit.
"It is god's grace, a miracle," said Pramila, adding that "those responsible for the mess should be punished so that such incidents do not recur."
Sudhir said he had put in a complaint to the chief medical officer (CMO) and an enquiry had been ordered. "But we want to move ahead with our lives along with our baby," he said.
CMO Gangadhar Rath, however, denied that the baby was thrown into a dustbin. "Some sweeper told the family members that the baby was in bad shape and it created a misunderstanding," he said. "We are enquiring as to what led to the misunderstanding."