LARKANA - An alarming and rising trend is being witnessed in Larkana where newborn ba-bies, mostly girls, are either thrown out on the streets or left in hospitals, again showing that the concepts of gender equality and children’s rights are still alien to a large section of our population.

Talking about the issue, Dr Abdullah Asar Chandio, who is director emergency at Shaikh Zayed Children Hospital, said six cases had so far been reported at the health facility in the current year in which the parents shunned the newborn girls by registering wrong information like names and home address.

He said that their parents just vanished after bringing and leaving them at the hospital as they could not be traced due to the incorrect personal data. Five of these babies later died, Dr Chandio added.

On the other hand, Dr Din Zehra said one of the nurses adopted the sixth girl by informing the relevant departments and was raising the baby happily along with her husband.  

It is certainly a human tragedy. In his comments, Muhammad Salim Arain – the regional head of Edhi Welfare Centre – said they had found 20 newborns – 11 boys and nine girls – from streets and garbage heaps during the past two years.

Nineteen of them were bodies while a baby girl found alive was being raised at the facility, Arain said while sharing the details.

Pro Saifullah Jamro – the head of department at Sheikh Zayed Children Hospital who is also associated with the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical Uni-versity, Larkana – notes that it is not just a tragedy.

He says it is observed that some parents deprive their babies of treatment despite the availability of quality and free-of-cost health services, which is tantamount to a murder. 

According to Jamro, most of such decisions are made by the fathers. In the devel-oped world, it is described as child neglect and strict laws have been introduced there to curb the practice. But there is no legislation on the issue in our country to stop infanticide.

Social activist Ashiq Pathan said neither any legal steps were visible at the gov-ernment level nor the role of social organisations could be seen to stop the dread-ful trend.