A 22-day-old baby was rescued by a boatman after she was found floating in a wooden box in a river in India.

The boatman, identified as Gullu Chaudhary, was standing on a bank of the river Ganga when he saw the wooden box floating in the water. As the box got closer to him, Chaudhary heard feeble cries from inside. He immediately brought the box to the river bank and opened it to find a baby inside, the BBC reported. 

The newborn was wrapped in a scarf and the box was decorated with photos of Hindu deities. The incident took place in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, NDTV reported. 

Chaudhary took the baby home, and after a little while, the police arrived at his residence as a witness had informed them about the child. The officers rushed the girl to a nearby hospital where she was being monitored.

Meanwhile, a video doing the rounds on social media showed Chaudhary opening the wooden box and rescuing the baby.

The police officials told local media that efforts were underway to find the parents of the newborn. The motive behind the abandonment was not known.

Though the state government was making arrangements for the upbringing of the baby, Chaudhary’s family is keen on getting her custody. He told the local media many people heard the baby’s cries, but nobody came forward to help her.

"But I rushed to rescue her. When I opened the wooden box, I found her," he said, Yahoo News reported. 

The state government announced Chaudhary would be rewarded for showing a "matchless example of humanity."

In October last year, a newborn baby was found abandoned on a road in the southern Indian state of Telangana. Passersby heard the cry of the baby and found him wrapped in a plastic bag. They then rushed the baby to a nearby hospital for treatment. At the time, the police were investigating the incident and had asked public help in tracing the parents of the newborn, who was less than a day old when abandoned.

baby-feet-4746255_1920 Representational image. Photo: Pixabay