Nursery houses 17 abandoned newborns

Child Protection Bureau runs facility for children from across province


Asif Mehmood August 28, 2020
PHOTO: MUDASER KAZI/EXPRESS

LAHORE:

As many as 17 newborn orphans are present in the nursery of the Child Protection Bureau Lahore and no one knows about their identity. Such newborns are either abandoned or found on piles of garbage. Now these babies are being raised in the Child Protection Bureau.

There are three nannies for the supervision and care of the children. Among them is Bakhtavar who has two sons of her own. She leaves her children with her mother and then takes care of the helpless newborns throughout the day.

“All children are the same; they should not be punished for the mistake of their parents,” she said. “They are so innocent that everyone loves them,” Bakhtavar added. The nanny maintained that mothers at home are often angry at their own children but she never threw tantrums at the little souls. “Every two hours, they have to be fed and their hygiene has to be taken care of,” she said.

“I do all this as a mother and I am lucky to have these 17 children,” Bakhtavar remarked. Reportedly, some of the children have physical disabilities, which might be the reason why their parents left them in the hospital or threw them in garbage dumps.

There is only one nursery for newborn orphans in Punjab where there are 17 children. These children were brought here from different cities. T

here are 11 boys and six girls, as per reports. Child Protection Bureau Chairperson Sarah Ahmed said that when they get to know about a child being taken into custody with the permission of the special court for child protection, they don't know the names of the parents of these children and any name is given to the child.

 “According to Shari'a, we cannot write the name of anyone other than the real father of the child, so we, as the guardian, write the name of the head of the Child Protection Bureau,” said the chairperson. “We have an agreement with NADRA and on the birth certificates of these children, the name of the head of the organisation is written as the guardian,” she said. She added that it is very significant to know the religion of these children.

“On the direction of the court, we try to get any information from the parents, relatives or area of the child to find out his/her religion,” Ahmed continued. She highlighted that if no information is found then the child is considered a Muslim.

The chairperson of the Child Protection Bureau further remarked that if a couple who does not have any child wants to adopt one, they apply to the bureau. Then a team is formed that prepares the report of the family, its financial status, the area, the home environment, the couple's education, their moral standing. In addition, the couple is interviewed and a reasonable amount of money has to be deposited in a bank in the name of the child.

“The baby is then adopted,” said Ahmed. After the adoption, she maintained, the couple agrees to bring the child to the court in two or three months. “The bureau has the power to withdraw an adopted child if it feels that the parents are not bringing up the child properly,” said the chairperson.

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