As the world celebrates womanhood and female existence on March 8 on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the dark reality of the Pangoora (government’s cradle) in Amritsar comes to fore where the number of abandoned girl children keeps soaring.
The present number of abandoned girl infants at the Pangoora is 128, which was 87 till 2015. Seeing more and more unwanted newborns being dumped in bushes and dustbins to be mauled by stray dogs, the district Red Cross Society, Amritsar, led by the-then deputy commissioner, KS Pannu, had come up with the idea of putting up a cradle in 2008 where people could leave these infants, assured that they will be provided for.
Today, present deputy commissioner Dr Basant Garg and his wife Venus Garg (chairperson of Red Cross Hospital Welfare wing) along with secretary of Red Cross Society Viney Sharma are leading the mission of finding reasonably good homes for the forsaken girls.
NOT A CRADLE SHE DESERVES
Every time a child is placed in the cradle outside the Pangoora, a bell rings.
“Today, where women are making a mark in every field, there is a section that is still stuck in the ancient state of mind and abandoning girls and committing atrocities on women,” says Venus.
Viney Sharma also informed HT that there have been few instances at the Pangoora where people did not leave the child in the cradle but instead directly walked up to them to handover their child. He said that although they were conselled for not doing the same, they remain undeterred and left the child.
“Mothers are not to be blamed, it is the society that is failing to support women will in this case. Even if the mother does not want to abandon her child, she has to succumb to the pressure and do so unwillingly,” she said.
However, the silver lining is that the world does have good people. “Childless couples do step forward to adopt these girls and provide them with what they deserve. Even NRIs have adopted girls from the Pangoora,” Venus said.
Meanwhile in Amritsar, Pingalwara (charitable society) is also bringing up a few abandoned girls while Nari Niketan is looking after around 20 girls out of which 12 girls would be married by the administration on March 9, shared assistant secretary, Red Cross, Randhir Singh adding that at Pangoora, if in a month, four children come in, three are girls.