Ward 211, Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), Dhaka Medical College Hospital. The baby of Beauty, whose mother threw him out of a four-storey window as soon as he was born on February 1, 2016, is sleeping in an incubator there. Constable Marjia and Constable Meherun are on duty to ensure his security. Despite earnest request to see the baby for the twinkling I could neither convince them nor manage to talk to the authority. Seeing me flurried, a mother whose baby is also admitted in the SCBU asked me if I were the mother of the baby I went to see. She also asked me what happened to the baby and why they didn't allow me to see him. I looked at her but could not give an answer. But I said to myself, yes, I am the mother of the baby of beauty and you are, too.
I was sitting there for about two and a half hours. Many parents came to see doctors with their newborns and other to query about infants admitted in SCBU. But nobody was there to meet the baby of Beauty. I asked Ansar member Noor A Alam if any family member visited the baby. He looked shocked if I were out of my mind. He replied that nobody except for a few reporters went there to visit the baby. His starring reminded me, where the baby would get family or relatives while his own mother flung him out of the fourth floor of a building. It's the almighty and the public who saved his life. And then the doctors and polices.
Before giving birth to a baby the parents and family members start choosing the best name for the new coming baby. In case of the baby of Beauty, his 17 years old biological mother or so called family might think the possible and best way to hide him quickly from her life. To me, Beauty, the mother, is not the guilty at all rather it's her family and other surrounding people who helped her to think this way to throw the baby out of the window. She is an underage mother and without marriage. According to the statements, she was raped and impregnated allegedly by her own brother-in-law. Fearing the social stigma, neither the family nor the mother was ready to accept the baby. And, now what is about our society? The society, we human beings make, is not easily accepting the baby of beauty who is responsible in no way for his own birth.
I am grateful to Khawaja Abdul Gafur, Assistant Director (Administration) of the DMCH, who gave me permission to see the baby of Beauty. For an eyewink, I felt like I met the God. He opened his yellow eyes and starred at me. I thought how innocent and helpless he is. He even could not taste his mother's milk for once. I apologized for whatever the situation he went through and is still fighting for with all of his energy in his little body. I also mumbled, "forgive us, little champ and get well soon."
An eight-member medical board, led by Neonatal Unit Chief Dr Manisha Banarjee, is looking after the boy at the moment. Dr Manisha said one of the major threats for new born is infection and the baby of Beauty is now fighting with multiple organisms especially blood infection and urine infection which are now the giant threats for the little body. A bone of the boy's broken leg has started to protrude from under the skin, while there were other complications with his facial bones and Bilirubin levels as well, Dr Manisha said. Blood remains clotted inside the child's head. The child is now being fed through saline and the doctors are trying their best to treat the baby. Dr Md Ayub Ali, Indoor Medical Officer, Paediatrics, said that his treatment was very costly but they were managing that. The baby of Beauty has already been gone under 13 time blood transfusion and his condition is becoming critical. He also informed that the poor fund, for the case of emergency, of the neonatal unit and the Department of Social Service is now paying for his treatment. The doctors are also contributing their own money to make his treatment faster.
The DNA test has been done and will be matched with the rapist once he gets caught. To get justice and legal action, Beauty filed a rape case with Ramna Model police station and the case is under magistrate court at this moment. Sub Inspector Humayun, Investigating Officer of this case, shared that Beauty's parents came to take her to village in Sirajganj but she refused to go there as she was still in fear both mentally and physically. At present, Beauty is under Tejgaon Thana Victim Support Centre. Ramna Officer in Charge Moshiur Rahman, said a number of people have applied to adopt the child. The applications would be analysed and legal procedures would be taken in due time, the OC said. Anybody yet does not donate money for the baby but if they want to donate money or blood (O+), then they can contact with Dr Manisha Banarjee, Neonatal Unit Chief, Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Tahmina Haque is Technical Manager-M&E, CARE Bangladesh.
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