Cradle of misery: 5 little girls thrown out like garbage

Published: February 15, 2012

The foetuses have been sent to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Five foetuses were found from a garbage dump in Akhtar Colony on Tuesday.

Two of them were found in plastic jars while the remaining three were wrapped in plastic shopping bags. The police was informed about the bodies after scavengers in the area found them, said SHO Rao Muqeem. Edhi volunteers were contacted to help as well.

According to the scavengers who go through the garbage every day, the bodies were disposed off on Monday. “There was nothing in the dump yesterday,” said one of the scavengers, Dawood. “Initially we thought the jars had food in them, but when we looked closely we realised they were dead babies.”

The foetuses have been sent to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. Sources at the hospital said that all five foetuses were girls and weighed between 300 grams to 390 grams. The medical board of doctors, including Dr Jalil Qadir, Dr Kaleem and Dr Manzoor, are trying to ascertain their proper ages but it is estimated that they were between three and  six months.

According to the police surgeon, Dr Mohammed Padhiar, the foetuses found from Akhtar Colony are not from the same pregnancy as they have different weights and ages. Four babies were premature while one was close to the delivery date. He said that the jars found are similar to those used by medical students and doctors in labs.

Outcry

Almost a dozen legal and illegal small maternity homes are operating in Akhtar Colony. As news of the foetuses spread, the residents were quick to accuse private maternity homes of throwing the foetuses out after induced abortions.

“Maternity homes in poor localities are not credible,” said a frustrated resident Hammad Nasir. “The bodies of newborn babies are often found here but this is the first case of premature babies.”

The police have started searching the maternity clinics in the locality as part of their investigation. SHO Muqeem said that there is a high probability that a maternity hospital is responsible. The police are also looking for possible witnesses. “It could not be someone from outside who came to dump the bodies; it is probably someone from this locality,” he added.

Trends

Most of the dead newborn babies found across Karachi are that of girls. In 2010, around 1,000 bodies of newborn babies were reported from across the country, while over 1,100 bodies were found in 2011. Eighty bodies have been reported so far this year.

It is much rarer for premature foetuses to be found. Four years ago, the bodies of six aborted babies were found from Masan Road, Keamari.

Edhi spokesperson Anwar Kazmi said that such incidents usually occur in poor localities such as Mehmoodabad, Chanesar Goth, Baloch Colony, Landhi, Korangi, Qayyumabad and Keamari. “We have repeatedly said that if someone does not want to keep their baby, they can leave them in the cradle outside our centres, but still these incidents are on the rise,” he said. “Poverty, disabilities, unwillingness to have children, illegitimate pregnancies and the birth of girls in the family, are the main reasons for these deaths.”

The premature babies are often helpful for medical students, hospitals and medical colleges for medical research and are kept inside jars. Kazmi said that the bodies are usually disposed off as garbage or in nullahs, instead of being handed over to a welfare association for a proper burial.

In 2010, 150 babies were left in Edhi cradles all over the country, 15 out of which were left at the centre in Karachi. In 2011, 110 babies were left out of which 20 were from Karachi.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2012.

Reader Comments (23)

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Feb 15, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Gift of Valentine’s day. It may force to re-visit our thoughts.

    Recommend

  • sars
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:38AM

    i find it hard to elive that residents of manzoor colony spend much of their time and effort celebrating valentines day. Dont blame others for individual criminal actions , or we will never find ways to stop these crimes

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  • Ahmad
    Feb 15, 2012 - 11:27AM

    “Poverty, disabilities, unwillingness to have children, illegitimate pregnancies and the birth of girls in the family, are the main reasons for these deaths.”

    I have no words to describe my sadness, anger and disappointment
    Unfortunately, socio-economic problems are truly on sharp rise in Pakistan.

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  • Independent from London
    Feb 15, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Disgusting. Inhuman, sickening whosoever has done this.

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  • Feb 15, 2012 - 12:17PM

    These Girls father should be arrested & not allowed to be married & have kids since he has no respect for LIFE
    .
    I just wish that non-muslims are also allowed to adopt
    then these girls & Many more would have a deserved HOME & not what our society is doing with them

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  • Feb 15, 2012 - 12:49PM

    We should say reality, it is not only cases of Poor colonies, mostly rich does this job earn money, ABORTION is not an easy, it is full of fear, we know who can perform it easily. I think it is due to european/american culture which being spread in our society.

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  • Ansari
    Feb 15, 2012 - 1:14PM

    Celebrate Valentine Day with more zeal, and expect worse.

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  • Yousaf Ali
    Feb 15, 2012 - 1:51PM

    @Ahmad:
    I fully agree with you.

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  • Falak
    Feb 15, 2012 - 2:06PM

    There is nothing European or American about abortion. It speaks of a large and silent majority of women who cannot force their husbands to use contraception and who do not want a 10th or 11th or 13th child who they cannot feed. It is about incest and rape in our society which also leads to pregnancies. Women will get abortions if they cannot control contraception and if they remain helpless to abuse. This is the reality of our society – we cannot blame it on the Europeans or Americans. Talk to your mother and grandmother and older women around you, if you are open to listening to them, they will tell you the stories of their friends and acquaintances who have resorted to abortion – sometimes at the risk of their lives because they have had very little choice.

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  • Arsi
    Feb 15, 2012 - 3:12PM

    Very sad to see such innocent lifes being thrown away in garbage cans. I dont know these people dont have hearts or of what thing they are made of that they dont care about human life or their own death !!

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  • The Flying Object
    Feb 15, 2012 - 5:26PM

    Ya ALLAH please curse those who did this heinous act.
    I have no sympathy for such .
    So sad:( Recommend

  • Rebecca
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:00PM

    I wish and curse on the person who does abortions ,just for the sake of money and killing innocent lives , I have no sympathy for them. Oh God please destroy them and their hands completely.

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  • Hallelujah
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:18PM

    A note to Molvis: This is why there are contraceptives!

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  • Jalal
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:52PM

    As we learned from history, after the departure of every messenger, some people will distort the message and confuse the others. Now we hear the call to go back to the laws of ignorance and allow the killing of the unborn children during the first three months of pregnancy. This call comes from those who are confused, misled, misinformed and misguided.
    Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:53PM

    They can’t be human. as father I know how precious my daughters are. Tears are my emotions.

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  • Icydevil
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:53PM

    All this happens in the land of “pure”. Bows down head shamefully

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  • uzma
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:58PM

    this isn’t our culture…trully awful n merciless our society has turned into:(

    Recommend

  • Ammar Shafique
    Feb 15, 2012 - 6:59PM

    Astagfirullah !!

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  • ET Reader
    Feb 15, 2012 - 7:03PM

    @Hallelujah:
    Please forgives Molvis, Mullahs to pull them in each and every dicussion. A respectful person always respect others. Also, I am why everyone commenting and every story on ET has at least one comment passing over Mullah, Molvi, but not over any Pandit, Padri. I accept each community has few Terry johns like cases.Recommend

  • Sena
    Feb 15, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Medical authorities in Pakistan are a joke. I have absolutely no respect for them o any medical professional in this country. I’m sure all these maternity clinics know exactly where those dead babies came from and they all do this. God knows why they can’t bury the dead, but instead dump them like so much trash. It’s a woman’s right to have an abortion, but have some respect. If we can’t respect our dead by properly burying or cremating, what hope is there for us? As a country or as human beings.

    Recommend

  • Fahd
    Feb 15, 2012 - 7:42PM

    No one has any right to end a childs life. I know many girls who got pregnant in thr teens due emotional relationships that thot was love..the current gen of teens is doing it hard and rough, they are however ashamed of buyin countraceptives over the counter. I know girls gathering money for frnds abortions. Lets not blame this on our culture of men dominated society since men were far more dominating and women had lesser rights in the past…its just inreased intercourse outside marriage. Those in wed lock generally have the to atleast give the new borns to edhi or couples without children.

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  • Feb 15, 2012 - 8:27PM

    As sad as this makes me, I just wonder if those baby girls are better off dead than being alive in this vicious society? If there’s one thing Pakistan needs the most is for Pakistanis to stop “laying” babies every year!

    Recommend

  • Feb 17, 2012 - 2:45AM

    Ahhhh that “culture” thing again.

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