The World Health Organization (WHO) is likely to publish in its bulletin the story about a one-month-old Indian baby girl whose rickshaw-puller father was forced to carry her around in a shoulder sling while at work following his wife’s death, local media reported Friday.
The baby named Damini was seriously ill, weak and underweight and was suffering from respiratory distress, shock, renal failure, electrolyte disturbance and fungal septicemia — a condition caused by the presence of pathogens in blood — when she was admitted to a private hospital in Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan Sunday.
For Damini and her 34-year-old father Bablu Jatav, life has taken a better turn since with help pouring in from different sources after their story caught public attention.
Damini has been taken off life-support after her health improved while Jatav has been offered a new rickshaw and about Rs. 1.4 million ($ 26,000) by the Rajasthan government and various private donors. The government also bears expenses for the baby’s treatment.
Several not-for-profit organizations in Rajasthan have reportedly offered to take care of Damini for at least two years and a job to Jatav. However, Jatav said he wanted to raise his child on his own and has refused the offer.
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“I need nothing for me, but all for my daughter. I am illiterate but I want to send her to a good school. I also want to give message to people who abandon girl child that girls are not a burden but a blessing of God,” Jatav was quoted as saying by the First Post.
Jatav's wife, Shanti, died Sept. 20, after giving birth to their first child and since there was no one to look after the newborn he decided to take her to work.
A WHO official from the UK reportedly talked to the doctors treating the baby inquiring about her health.
The official has “expressed interest in publishing the story of Bablu and his girl child in WHO's bulletin,” Dr. Jai Krishan Mittal, who is in charge of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Fortis Escorts Hospital, was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Mittal said a lot of people from around the world were calling to know about the health of the girl child.
Gyan Prakash Shukla, district collector of Bharatpur, where Jatav belongs to, said he was an inspiration in a country where girl child was discriminated against.