Baby tries to breastfeed as mother lies dead along railway tracks in MP’s Damoh
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Baby tries to breastfeed as mother lies dead along railway tracks in MP’s Damoh

The body of the woman and the toddler, who was crying and sucking his mother’s breasts, were found near a railway track in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh, nearly 250km from Bhopal.

india Updated: May 25, 2017 00:15 IST
Neeraj Santoshi and Anupam Pateriya
Neeraj Santoshi and Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Sagar
Damoh,Madhya Pradesh,Child Welfare
The body of the woman and her child in in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh.(HT Photo)

A woman lay dead along the railway tracks with her year-old son clinging to her chest, trying to breastfeed. He cried and shook his mother fitfully, wondering why she won’t wake up.

The heartbreaking scene unfolded on Wednesday morning in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh, nearly 250km from Bhopal.

The woman either fell off a train or she was hit by one. The wounds suggest she fell on the back of her head, and the concussion and bleeding killed her, though not immediately.

Residents discovered around 6am the woman and the toddler: sucking his mother’s breasts and nibbling on a biscuit alternately.

They informed railway police and some of the onlookers shot cell phone videos and posted them on social media. The posts were shared extensively and activated child welfare activists.

“She died before people found her … The child wasn’t injured,” railway police officer Anil Marawi said.

The mother was probably holding the baby close to her chest when she fell, which saved the child.

“She was injured but probably conscious … opened a biscuit packet and gave some to the child. She breastfed her child to ensure he survives,” the officer said.

“The child wailed aloud when he was separated from his mother.”

His heartrending cries shook Tiwari and the onlookers. “…it shakes you to the core, however hardened you have become over the years,” he said.

The tragedy, however, failed to move officials at the town’s government hospital where police took the corpse and the child.

The child won’t be admitted because he can’t pay an admission fee of Rs 10. The boy was kept waiting until ward boy Tarun Tiwari came forward with the money to ease the bureaucratic inconvenience.

“They kept talking about rules,” said Sudhir Vidyarthi, chairperson of the Damoh child welfare committee.

The body was sent for autopsy, while the “orphaned” boy was shifted to a children’s home.

“We will publish notices … If his family members come, we will verify their credentials and hand him to them,” Vidyarthi said.

Police are trying to identify the woman but the lone lead they have is a purse recovered near the tracks. It bears the name of a Tikamgarh jewellery shop.

First Published: May 24, 2017 20:01 IST