VELLORE: Had fate been kind to 20-year-old Deepa, she would have been returning to Tiruvannamalai from Chennai with her baby in her arms. However, two weeks after giving birth to a stillborn child at a hospital in Egmore, the young woman was travelling back home with a fountain of love in her bosom that her child would never know. Seated beside another expecting woman, it was her recent tragedy that coaxed words of civility out of her, but what her co-passenger had to tell her sent chills down her spine.
Deepa realised that her co-passenger did not want to bring the child to the world. What with having given birth to two children earlier and her husband deserting her, the woman was reluctant to bear the thought of having to feed yet another hungry mouth. “She wanted to throw the baby away,” Deepa recalled.
Deepa could not bear the thought of a mother wanting to discard her own child. She coaxed the woman to accompany her to her place at Vadugapattu in Cheyyar and deliver the baby.
The woman underwent labour at Deepa’s place a few days ago and delivered a baby boy. However, the woman soon left her house, without informing anybody.
After a vain search, Deepa’s joy knew no bound when she realised that she could yet become a mother. A mother to a child she had not given birth to, but played a role in bringing to the world.
For a week, Deepa took care of the child as her own. However, a few days ago, the baby took ill and she had to take it to the Primary Health Centre in Thozhupedu.
When village health nurse, Tamilarasi, questioned about the baby, Deepa told her about the incident on the bus and how she came by the baby. Realising that the 11-day-old baby was born to some other woman, the nurse informed her higher-ups and the Cheyyar All Women Police Station. The police personnel took the baby and placed it under the care of a Non Government Organisation (NGO) — Society for Rural Development and Promotional Service — based in Tirupattur on Thursday.
Sub-inspector of Cheyyar police station Shabudeen said that they were not able to trace the biological mother of the baby, as Deepa was not aware of the location from where the woman boarded the bus.
Tiruvannamalai Collector (in-charge) S Palani said the infant was administered due care.
“We handed over the baby to a government authorised child adoption agency. In case the infant’s parents do not come to claim him within the next three months, he will be given for adoption in accordance with the law,” the Collector added.