Three-days-old Ambika, who was abandoned at a carcass dump (called hadda roori in Punjabi) is the newest member of SGB Bal Ghar, an orphanage run by Swami Ganga Nand Bhuriwale International Foundation, at Dham Talwandi Khurd, on the outskirts of the city.
Ambika was abandoned at the carcass dump, a wandering ground for stray dogs, near Sardoolgarh in Mansa, after a few hours of her birth. When some villagers heard her crying, they rescued her and took her to the civil hospital in Mansa.
She has now reached SGB Bal Ghar that houses 50 children, eight of who are abandoned babies that reached here in the last two months alone. According to the NGO members, “The parents usually abandon these new-born children at garbage dumps, parks, fields, hospitals or other such places.”
While they may have been dumped by their own kin, the staff of Bal Ghar tries its best to ensure that these orphaned or abandoned children get all the required facilities they need.
Fifty children, including 44 girls and six boys, are living at this institution.
Of them, 26 children had been abandoned while 24 were orphaned. 35 children of this institute go to St Kabir Academy, a school run by Swami Ganga Nand Bhuriwale International Foundation.
“More than 130 children of SGB Bal Ghar have been adopted since 2006. Of them 11 children were adopted by foreigners and NRI couples living in countries such as the USA, the UK, Canada, France, Spain and Italy,” said, Kuldeep Singh, secretary of Bal Ghar.
Singh adds, “Ambika is our newest member. Like her, abandoned children come through a legal process. Our centre is a recognised Indian Placement Agency, under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.”
Talking to Hindustan Times, Ramanjot Grewal, adoption coordinator at SGB Bal Ghar, said, “Many people from India and abroad have registered at our centre for adopting these children. When we get a new child we put the details online. Foreigners register themselves through Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA), which is linked with Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). After a couple fulfils all legal criteria, we allow the adoption of a child.”
The orphanage staff advertises in newspapers, once a child is brought to the orphanage, to find their biological parents.
APPEAL FOR HELP
Two-and-half-years-old Shruti, an abandoned child, has a hole in heart. She will soon undergo surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. According to the staff of Bal Ghar, the cost of surgery and treatment will be between `2.5 lakh - 4.5 lakh. Donors can contact Kuldeep Singh at 97794-00032.
Only a few parents come back
It is a rare scenario when parents who first abandoned their child come back to take them home. Once an unmarried mother, who had abandoned her baby boy at SGB Bal Ghar, came back to take him home.
Arvind Kumar, a member of SGB Bal Ghar said, “A young unmarried girl had abandoned her baby boy, a few months ago. She had an affair with a local youth but their parents were not in favour of their marriage and neither wanted to keep the child. After realising that they had made a huge mistake, the couple got married against their families wish and after one-and-a half-month they took their child back by fulfilling the required process.”
Arvind added that the orphanage staff waited for the parents of these abandoned children for up to two months. After that period, the adoption process with the interested couples was started.