Two-month-old Damini, daughter of a cycle rickshaw puller in Bharatpur who used to carry her in a cloth sling, was discharged from a hospital here on Monday after her treatment for anaemia, infection and respiratory problems. The motherless infant was brought to the hospital here after the poor family’s plight was disclosed by activists.
Damini’s mother died during the childbirth and her father, Babloo, was forced to carry her in a cloth tied around his neck while riding the rickshaw. There was no one to take care of the malnourished girl at home. The matter was brought to the administration’s notice when the people expressed concern over the condition of the infant and her father.
The girl was admitted in a critical condition to a private hospital here on October 21 and a large number of people came forward to support her. Even as the Bharatpur administration paid for her treatment, donors and philanthropists have contributed about Rs.17 lakh for ensuring a secure future for Damini.
Doctors attending on her said she was weighing two kg now after her recovery from respiratory disorder, fungal septicemia and renal failure, gaining about 600 grams during the treatment. She was kept on ventilator for a few days and was taken off the life support system when she responded to medication.
“The baby is accepting external feeds. Though she is underweight, her vital parameters are fine. It is necessary that she gets a good diet during the next few months of [her] growth,” said physician Jaikishan Mittal who supervised her care at the hospital.
Dressed in new pink clothes, Damini was handed over to her father in the presence of State Medical and Health Minister A. A. Khan and Bharatpur Collector Gyan Prakash Shukla. The hospital staff, who grew attached to the baby, also pooled in money to facilitate her regular medical check-up. The financial assistance received from donors has been placed in fixed deposits for her.
Babloo said he had little hope for her daughter’s survival when she was brought to Jaipur. “Damini is healthy today because of the care provided by doctors and prayers offered by everyone,” he told reporters while leaving for Bharatpur in a car provided by the administration.
Though Babloo was unwilling to accept the offer of several non-government organisations for Damini’s daycare in his hometown when he leaves home for work, he said he would ensure that Damini gets good education. “I will take up some new work to earn livelihood and give a good upbringing to my daughter.”