CHENNAI: Even as the city gives shelter to many runaway and abandoned children, it also witnesses a shocking trend of unwed mothers, most of whom are educated, voluntarily surrendering their babies to government caregivers and want to move on with life.
The Child Welfare Committee in Chennai has given shelter to 12 newborns surrendered to them this year, majority of them was born to single women, either studying or working. What is even more worrying is that it seems to be an increasing trend as the CWC saw about 13 cases during 2013.
Two girls from Nepal were recent visitors to the Child Welfare Committee office. They surrendered their babies claiming that they had come to Chennai to study and got pregnant through their boyfriends. “They simply said they want to continue their studies,” said CWC member Aspy Joyson.
The members have seen medical students and professionals in the field of medicine like nurses and physiotherapists as well as a couple of IT professionals.
Further, most of these women come along with their parents to surrender their newborns.
“It was unbelievable when the nurse told us that she did not know safety measures. An IT professional came to us with her baby after her boyfriend dumped her. Most of them come with their parents and don’t reveal any details,” officials said.
The committee is also seeing women from middle-class families like the 35-year-old woman, who had an affair with her brother-in-law and attempted to escape from a Corporation hospital at Saidapet after delivery. She too surrendered her little one.
The committee, which attempts its best reuniting the child with its mother, gives 60 days time to get back if there is a change of mind. If they do not get back, a petition is filed that the baby, kept in the reception units, is free for adoption.