A news report in Daily Times, about the work of EDHI welfare foundation, reveals shocking data that states that on an average 30 babies are dumped in the garbage each month in Pakistan.
By Irfan Aligi
KARACHI: The Edhi Welfare Trust (EWT) has collected an astonishing 17,000 living infants over 38 years from ‘katchra kundis’ (garbage dumps) of which 98 percent are girls and only two percent are boys. The number of dead babies found at these dumps over the same time period is fourfold, 68,000, while on average, 30 infants are rescued each month by the EWT from all over Pakistan, informed Abdul Sattar Edhi, renowned human rights activist and Chief Trustee of the EWT, while talking to Daily Times.
The most discarded babies are found in Karachi with Nazimabad, North Karachi and Baldia Town being the most popular sites for this gross disrespect of life, he noted, adding that it is obvious that people discard a girl infant as they cannot afford to raise her with low prospects of employment. What is even more bewildering, he said, is that some parents choose to cut the throat of their new born.
An astounding number of infants are found with their throats slit or who have been smothered to death, he noted. “No crime can surpass this act of brutality and inhumanity. People do not fear Allah when they kill a defenseless and innocent infant like a wild animal.
“I have always appealed to people who give birth to girls, whether illegitimate or legitimate, and do not want to keep them due to poverty, to drop their unwanted child in the cradle placed outside the main gate of EWT in Kharadar, but we still find discarded babies, alive and dead, everywhere,” he regretted. “Allah has ordained in the Holy Quran to not kill infants for fear of a lack of food because it is He who provides food to all creatures, but unfortunately, I know some clerics who say that it is okay to kill such infants,” remarked Edhi.
A positive is that the number of couples willing to adopt infants from the EWT is growing. The adopting couples are monitored for five years, to check the fostering conditions of an adopted child. Thankfully, hundreds of adopted infants are now serving the country after becoming doctors, engineers, teachers and scientists, noted Edhi.
Faisal Edhi, Edhi Welfare Trust Trustee, told Daily Times that despite all the modernization and the commotion about civil and human rights these day, the fate of a lot of newborn girls is the same as it was as was 1,500 years ago when in Arabia, newborn girls were buried alive because of poverty or the dishonour they brought the family. He also thanked the Pakistanis who continue to support the EWT in their noble mission of saving innocent lives and giving them a future.