Kochi

A good samaritan turns foster mother in this COVID-19 crisis in Kerala

It was a moment of unlimited joy for Sheena Eldhose, a nurse in Haryana, as she received her seven-month-old child from social worker Mary Anitha at the latter's apartment in Vyttila, Kochi. Mary Anitha had taken care of the kid after Sheena and her husband were admitted at Govt Medical College, Ernakulam as they tested positive for COVID-19. Mary had rented a nearby apartment and had went on quarantine along with the child, who was tested negative.

It was a moment of unlimited joy for Sheena Eldhose, a nurse in Haryana, as she received her seven-month-old child from social worker Mary Anitha at the latter's apartment in Vyttila, Kochi. Mary Anitha had taken care of the kid after Sheena and her husband were admitted at Govt Medical College, Ernakulam as they tested positive for COVID-19. Mary had rented a nearby apartment and had went on quarantine along with the child, who was tested negative.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Eldin did not let go of the hands of P.A. Mary Anitha as he moved smilingly into the hands of his mother here on Wednesday.

It was exactly one month ago that Ms. Anitha, a social worker, had taken up the role of his foster mother after the baby’s own mother had to go into isolation at the Govt. Medical College in Ernakulam when she tested positive for COVID-19.

Tears of fulfilment and gratitude welled up in them as they met to hand over the baby at Ms. Anitha’s apartment in Vyttila.

“I had called him Unni right from the moment he was handed over to me on the night of June 14. The authorities of Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Ernakulam, had initially approached me to arrange a bystander to take care of the child after his parents had tested positive for COVID-19. I decided to turn foster mother after seeing that the baby was in a high-risk category as he had health issues right from his birth,” she said.

Eldin’s mother Sheena Eldose, who is employed as a nurse in Haryana, had to leave the State with the baby after her husband (also a nurse) tested positive for the disease. She was tested positive while remaining in quarantine here while the child was tested negative.

Bitty K. Joseph, chairperson of CWC, Ernakulam, said that the hospital authorities had reached out to them for help as family members and relatives of the parents were reluctant to take care of the child in view of the health situation. “We were also finding it difficult to get bystanders when Mary Anitha volunteered to take care of the child,” she said.

Ms. Anitha said that the baby, who was used to breastfeeding, adjusted to formula feed and had remained a happy baby since then. “I had shifted to a nearby apartment with Eldin while my three children and husband extended all support throughout this period,” she said. A clinical psychologist, Ms. Anitha had founded the Centre For Empowerment and Enrichment in 2007 to bring the needs of differently abled children to the forefront.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 5:32:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/a-good-samaritan-turns-foster-mother-in-this-covid-19-crisis-in-kerala/article32088987.ece

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