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In suspended animation!

Suresh Krishnamoorthy


Just about 34 months old, little Habeeba was found abandoned on a road near the Hakeempet nala




Habeeba

HYDERABAD: They say ignorance is bliss and thankfully, this kid is young enough not to actually understand the goings-on in the world around her.

Just about 34 months old, little Habeeba was crying, unable to bear the loneliness and the chill on a road near Hakeempet nala. Her screams drew the attention of Ashok Kumar, a sub-inspector at Banjara Hills police station, on the evening on August 30. He brought her to the police station and kept a watchful eye on her, after giving her some milk.

In the morning, he called P. Padma, a woman SI and handed over the child to her. Around afternoon on August 31, Ms. Padma called A.V. Roopa Ramesh of SATHI, a voluntary organisation that specialises in cases of lost children.

Girl shifted

The girl was shifted to ‘New Hope’, a facility for girls near Nampally. Even as the monthly meeting of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Hyderabad district, slated for every third Thursday, was to be convened, SATHI volunteers and the Banjara Hills police tracked the moorings of the child. The mother was traced near a toddy compound in Hakeempet. Only then the police identified the child as Habeeba. For the trackers, it was heartrending when they found that the baby’s mother was irresponsible. She even affixed her thumb impression on a declaration saying she did not want the child.

Mother visits child

On a petition from SATHI at the CWC meeting, the magistrate ordered that Habeeba be kept in Sishu Vihar, the State Home. Interestingly, the mother visited Sishu Vihar at least twice with biscuits and clothes for her child. SATHI representatives and the officials concerned are unconvinced about her intention to take care of Habeeba. However, District Collector R.V. Chandravadan asked the officials to wait and watch the baby’s mother.

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