Proud parents of four; not in blood but soul | india | Hindustan Times
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Proud parents of four; not in blood but soul

Sumi and Prabhat Bera had prayed for a child. They were blessed with four, though none of their own flesh and blood. "I wonder how people can be so cruel as to abandon their own babies," says Prabhat, a rickshaw puller, report Chhandosree and Probal Sanatani.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2006 00:53 IST

Sumi and Prabhat Bera had prayed for a child. They were blessed with four, though none of their own flesh and blood.

At first glance, there is nothing to distinguish this working class couple — Prabhat is a rickshaw puller and Sumi used to work as a domestic help till her health broke — from numerous others, save their large hearts. The childless family has grown to include four children — from 18 years to 18 months old — left to die by their biological parents.

"Putul is my eldest daughter. We cannot forget the day when we picked her from the nearby bushes. Her shrill cries woke us up in the middle of the night. We rushed out to find ants crawling all over her. She is now 18, married and a mother herself," says Sumi, the proud grandma.

"As for Pinki, now 18 months old, we found her lying in a garbage dump and dogs were attacking her. Similarly, I spotted Meenakshi eight years back on railway tracks and decided to bring her home as a sister for Putul. Till then, I had thought it is only daughters who are unwanted and thrown out in our country, but then we found Shankar. Now they are our world. When I look into their eyes, I wonder how people can be so cruel as to abandon their own babies," says Prabhat.