Every day this week when I have read the paper I have come across stories of babies being abandoned in various places, from the hospital in which they were born, a case of twins recently, to a baby being abandoned on a train track today, to countless others which perhaps go unreported. A web page that I receive confirmed the suspicion which is that perhaps this is on the increase and I quote an NGO:
“A total of 15 babies have been rescued from across the
city in the last 65 days. These babies, less than 20 days old, had been
abandoned in garbage bins, bus shelters, hospitals and railway stations”
“Normally, four or five babies are found abandoned in the city every month.
We have never seen so many children being abandoned.”
Recently when we were in Orchha we went to the cenotaphs that were built by the Bundela kings at the time to honour their dead. They are found by the river Betwa and are enormous and imposing and really of not much significance except as empty reminders of lives gone by.
There was one life however at the entrance that touched my heart strings and which I often return to in my thoughts. Tired of looking at the cenotaphs I wandered to the entrance and there under a great banyan tree there was a little boy who seemed to spend hours sitting happily and playing with the merchandise that the woman was selling. He was totally engaging and took great delight in stacking the Lux soaps and then moving them all away and I sat by and watched. This is his story.
He was abandoned by the tree when he was a few days old. No one came, no one claimed him. The woman who sells chai and cigarettes to the few locals and even fewer foreigners who stop there, called him Ramu, and since there was no one else to look after him she adopted him and there he sits happily, rootless but loved, abandoned but cared for.