PURULIA: If it weren’t for these four dogs, a seven-day-old baby could have died. They lay around her and chased away crows until someone came to save the baby. Locals were impressed with the four dogs, who proved – once again – that dogs are man’s best friend.
One Saturday morning, when Ulhas Chowdhury, a school teacher, was walking along a thicket close to his house at Pathardi Para, he was shocked to hear a baby’s cry. He goes in that direction because it’s a short-cut to the school where he teaches, the Manbhum Victoria Institution. He began searching through the bushes, and all of a sudden he saw four dogs circling something.
When Chowdhury arrived at the spot, he discovered that the four dogs were protecting a newborn girl who had been covered with a pale pink cloth. Upon noticing him, they began wagging their tails, barked and then sat down close to the baby. And then Chowdhury raised the alarm in the neighbourhood.
Locals hurried to the area. Chowdhury’s neighbour, Parveen Sen, picked up the baby and provided her with some milk. “She stopped crying after having that,” shared Chowdhury. Amazingly, the dogs also followed everyone to Chowdhury’s house where the baby was first taken before officers from the Purulia Sadar police station were notified. The cops in turn alerted the 24-hour Child Helpline to the incident.
The cops took custody of the baby girl and transported her to the Deben Mahato Sadar Hospital, where doctors verified that she was indeed seven to ten days old and weighed about 2.8 kilos. The baby was admitted to the newborn special care unit at the hospital.
“Though she has signs of jaundice, there is nothing to fear,” explained Dr Shibshankar Mahato.
Chowdhury gave the baby a name, Sania, because she was rescued on a Saturday (Shanivaar). Dipankar Sarkar, district co-ordinator of the Child Helpline, noted that as soon as the baby is discharged from the hospital, she will be taken to a state-run home-cum-adoption center at Bhatbandh.
“Had it not been for the dogs, we would probably have lost the baby. We are all grateful to them,” Chowdhury shared.