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Families grieve loss of infants

Bodies of newborns handed over to parents after postmortem

Families grieve loss of infants

Anjar Chaudhary, father of one of the victims, in East Delhi. PTI



Tribune News Service

Anshita Mehra

New Delhi, May 27

Two days after a major fire at a baby care centre in East Delhi claimed the lives of seven newborns, aged between one and 25 days old, the bodies of babies were handed over to their grieving families after postmortem on Monday. According to the parents, they were permitted to enter GTB Hospital and identify their children after mounting pressure from both the media and the public.

Natesh Sharma, a grieving relative, recounted the heart-wrenching tale, saying, “My brother-in-law’s son, who was born on Friday morning, faced breathing difficulties, prompting his admission to the hospital. Little did we know that his visit last night to check on the baby’s condition would mark our final glimpse of him. My brother-in-law had lost a baby before this as well.”

In the wake of the devastating loss, a profound sense of disbelief engulfed the family as they were confronted with the reality of their baby’s demise. Even upon confirming the mother’s identity, the stark truth remained unfathomable. “We couldn’t come to terms with the fact that our baby is no longer with us,” Natesh shared, her voice heavy with sorrow.

“In a desperate attempt to seek solace and ensure absolute certainty, we pleaded for a DNA test and fervently requested to see other infants alive, yearning to verify our own unimaginable truth,” she added.

Anita, whose 17-day-old daughter Ruhi had been battling a fever, recounted her hopeful anticipation of her imminent discharge. She said, “On Saturday, we went to monitor Ruhi’s temperature and were relieved to hear from the doctor that she was improving and scheduled for release the following day. I anxiously awaited the call confirming her discharge. However, my hopes were shattered upon stumbling upon the tragic news of the hospital blast before receiving any such call.”

According to Nazim Choudhary, the elder brother of Anzaan, whose 12-day-old daughter was among the victims, the identification process relied on parental recognition and cross-referencing with hospital records. “Upon our arrival at GTB Hospital, we sought information from the police regarding our daughter’s whereabouts. Only after persistent questioning from the media did the authorities permit parents’ entry,” he said.

Recalling the distressing scene, Choudhary added, “Amidst charred remains, we could only identify our baby by a few strands of hair and partially recognisable facial features.” He shared that while doing the last rites of the baby, they named her ‘Fatima’.

Yet, the next day found Anzaan returning to the hospital site in Vivek Vihar, tears betraying his disbelief as he fervently clung to hope, insisting, “My daughter must still be inside the hospital.”

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