By Jayakumar Chennai, March 23 : Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district's cradle baby center that was established in 2003, is playing a major role to save the newborn babies.
It was set up as part of Tamil Nadu's 1992 Cradle Baby Scheme to deter unwed mothers and couples, who did not want their girl-child to die.
Apart from this, the Centre has created mass awareness among the rural folk about the social evils and prompted the villagers to follow a righteous path, evident being the drastic fall in rate of children being abandoned.
Cradles have been placed at the government hospitals and at social welfare centers for the mothers who want to abandon their babies born out of wedlock and even from pre-marital affairs.
Hospital staff monitors the cradles and care for the abandoned babies. The centre subsequently hands over the babies to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which then identify parents willing to adopt them.
According to NGOs operating in the region, the center's success rate has been phenomenal.ill date, the Dharmapuri centre has received 40 male babies 965 female babies, these out and out abandoned from mothers.
In the past, many of the cases had come to knowledge in the past in which mothers were feeding Kallipal, a sort of poisonous milk, to their newborns. In many instances babies were also fed with paddy and Arrack to end their lives.
This Centre in Dharmapuri works through a well-managed network linking several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the region, which inform about parents eager to adopt these babies.
"We send the babies to Ananda Ashram at Hosur, Life Line Trust at Salem, Peace Society at Kovai, Karuna Priya Trust in Chennai, Child Action Trust in Chennai, Bala Mandir Trust in Chennai and Kalam Arapervai Trust in Chennai" said Selvi, the caretaker of the Baby Care Centre in Dharmapuri.
Prior to the setting up this Centre, many villages used to witness gruesome incidents of end to unwanted babies.
"Many people believe if a baby girl is born, they will have to raise her and spend a lot over her and then seek a husband for her. It is feared that her marriage will mean a lot of dowry. Due to these evils, there were parents and even mothers who got rid of their baby girls by feeding poisonous milk. Thank God, this Center has come up to put a complete stop to such malpractices," said Sudharani, one mother.
"I have delivered babies, brought them up and educated them. Of course, there are some who leave their babies at the Dharmapuri cradle center," said a mother Palaniyammal, who is villager from Dharmapuri District.