First cradle baby reception centre set up in Jammu for abandoned children

JAMMU — The first cradle baby reception centre (CBRC) named ‘Palna Greh’ has been set up in Jammu to provide care to abandoned children until they are placed for adoption.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the centre is now operational at the government district hospital in Gandhi Nagar in Jammu city, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

‘A new initiative has been launched in Gandhinagar hospital by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Under this initiative, we have established the Palna Greh – CBRC, making Gandhinagar hospital the first health institution in the region to have this facility,’ Medical Superintendent of the Government District Hospital, Gandhi Nagar, Dr Parveen Yograj told PTI.

The CBRC, established under the Mission Vatsalya, facilitates the safe abandonment of children by families or biological parents who do not wish to appear before the child welfare committee to relinquish the child while keeping their identity confidential, he said.

‘The main goal of setting up this center is to decrease the infanticide rate and save the lives of children who are abandoned in bushes or garbage dumps. Some abandoned children have tragically fallen victim to stray dogs in various places,’ Dr Yograj said.

The centre is strategically located near the emergency wing, without CCTV coverage, ensuring anonymity. Medical professionals attend to the child placed in the cradle, and the police are informed.

Dr Yograj said, ‘We have set up Palna Greh close to the emergency and laboratory areas, without CCTV coverage, to maintain confidentiality. Soon after a baby is placed in the cradle, doctors immediately provide care, and the police are alerted.’

People have welcomed this initiative. Sardar Kuldeep Singh, a local, commended the initiative saying, ‘It is a positive step taken by the hospital. Earlier, people used to abandon girl children in parks. This recently launched scheme will assist such individuals and save children’s lives.’

Mahesh Kumar, a patient’s attender, while acknowledging a modest initial response, believes that it will be a game-changer in reducing female infanticide. — (PTI)