While Independence Day on Wednesday meant a rainy government holiday for most Chennaites, Geetha a 45-year-old homemaker awoke to the faint wails of a crying baby. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Geetha’s milk man awoke her and confirmed her doubts about noises coming from the stormwater drain near her house in Valasarvakkam.
Walking the rainswept pathway, Geetha discovered to her horror, that it was a newborn baby. In gut wrenching visuals that have emerged on social media, Geetha is seen bending down and reaching deep into the storm water drain to pull out the baby. The pink fleshed newborn is crying, choked by its own umbilical cord tied around its neck. Even as neighbours around her are heard screaming and run to fetch water, Geetha, holding the child firmly, unravels the umbilical cord immediately.
Geetha, who washed the baby clean, rushed the boy the Institute Of Child Health (ICH) in Egmore along with her neighbours.
Heaet wrenching, newbirn baby abandoned in a storm water pipe in Chennai with the umbelical cord around ita neck strangulating it. pic.twitter.com/ht6lpnRFsc— Pramod Madhav (@madhavpramod1) August 15, 2018
Speaking to TNM, Geetha says, “I heard the crying sounds and ran out as soon as the milk man told me. For me, saving the life of the baby was most important. I didn’t care about anything else at that point. It had rained all of last evening. If it had rained like that this morning as well, the baby would have been swept away. It leads to the drainage from that point.”
While others were uncertain about the next course of action, Geetha called the police right away. “We informed the police, did basic first aid and took him to the hospital immediately. They have kept the baby at the incubator at the Egmore hospital.”
Moved by what was a roller-coaster day for her, Geetha also named the child. “I named him Sugandhiram because I found him on Independence Day. From today, he is Sugandhiram(freedom in Tamil). He can grow up freely,” she says.
Speaking to TNM, one police official at the Valasaravakkam Police Station said, “No case has been filed. The child has been handed over and is receiving treatment at the Government Hospital For Women and Children in Egmore. The baby is doing fine. We will decide upon further action accordingly.”
A former actor, Geetha says she would happily raise the baby if she was entrusted with him.
“I am at home now. I used to be in the cine field. I was in my daughter’s house when this happened. I love children. Even now, if they give me the child, I will raise him well. But wherever the child is, he should be happy. He has suffered enough.”
The baby has reportedly been placed under the Cradle Baby Scheme of the government and is under treatment at the hospital.