One of the many problems plaguing our society today is abandoned babies. If we fail to address this social menace, I fear it may one day transform into a new culture thus paving the way towards total disaster.
“Baby Hatch” is not something new. It has been in existence for centuries. It was common during medieval times. It was known as “foundling wheels” where women could leave their “unwanted” children in secret instead of killing them.
The main reason why newborns are abandoned is because they are born out of wedlock. Today, baby hatches are intended to be used by mothers who are unable to bring up their babies and do not wish to divulge their identity.
In India and Pakistan, the purpose of baby hatches is to provide an alternative to female infanticide, which occurs due to socio-economic factors.
Whatever the reasons are, I am totally against it, as it is inhumane. What has happened to human values? Parents and teachers must play their roles in instilling good values in children. Public must be made aware of the cruel act and stringent laws be enacted to punish the perpetrators.
Even animals take care of their young. They do not allow others to touch them. What a shame to call ourselves human beings, in the first place.
It is heart-wrenching to see pictures of abandoned babies left to die in toilets and rubbish bins. Reported cases may just be the tip of the iceberg. Many go unreported while some are given away illegally for adoption.
With the making of baby hatch mandatory at hospitals (private and public) by the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, it is hoped that the number of abandoned babies will be reduced significantly.
R. James Ratnam
President Love and Welfare Society Kinta, Ipoh