A boatman in India has rescued a 21-day-old girl who was found floating in a wooden crate near the banks of the Ganges River in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The box was decorated with images of Hindu deities and the child was wrapped in a red cloth. In addition to the incense sticks used in Hindu worship, the horoscope chart of Bachhor and a piece of paper were placed in addition to reading “Daughter of Ganga”, which is Hindi for the sacred river.
Gul and Chaudhry were at the water’s edge on Monday when they and others heard a baby crying in Ghazipur town.
“No one was willing to go and check,” he later told the media. “I ran and as soon as I opened the box I found a baby there.”
Videos of Chaudhry taking the girl out of the house have been widely shared on social media this week and local authorities have awarded her a boat.
Local officials took the boy home before he was admitted to the hospital, where he is being monitored. He said he wanted to raise the girl and considered it a gift from the river. “Mother Ganga handed it over to me,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath praised the boatman for rescuing the girl and said it would bring welfare benefits. He said the government would take care of the child.
Police are investigating how long the girl was in the box and trying to locate her parents. Abandonment of a baby is a crime in India.
“The baby is fine and under medical supervision,” a police official said. “We are trying to find out the facts about this incident.”
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