As a part of its Operation Child Rescue program, Child Impact International has partnered with the Ashram Trust, an Adventist-run orphanage and child adoption center in Hosur, India. The rescue center’s key roles are to:
- Save the lives of rejected babies.
- Provide them adoption in India or a safe home in the orphanage.
The black market for selling babies is a very real and active business, and the Ashram Trust undertakes rigorous checks to make sure the children are taken into happy and healthy homes. Many children are raised at the orphanage and go on to Adventist schools and colleges. Jim Rennie, Child Impact CEO, is “very excited to have partnered with this baby rescue center as we are actually saving the lives of these helpless children and giving them hope.”
During a visit to the center in India, we took some pictures of the children there. It was an emotional visit, especially after seeing the needs of the children and hearing the stories of how they were found.
We were led into the Adoption Center by the director of Ashram Children’s Home. The sight of sari-clad women attending to infants in their crib was adorable. There were seventeen newborn babies in the crib and two little girls running around. The staff took us to each crib and told us the name of each baby. Some were sleeping and some looked straight at the camera with their wandering eyes. Out of the nineteen babies that we could see, seventeen of them were girls. These were all little ones who had been abandoned soon after their arrival into this world. “It’s a girl.” These words from a midwife or a nurse in a hospital are enough to seal the fate of a newborn’s innocent life.
Two-month-old Poomani was found in a thorny bush by the roadside. Upon hearing the faint cry coming from the bush, a passerby called the police. She was brought to Ashram with one arm broken and wounds all over her body. She barely survived the ordeal to recover from her certain death. No one knows who her parents are. It is believed her parents abandoned Poomani because they didn’t want a girl child.
When we got to Packiavathi, she was gurgling delightfully on the mat on the floor that was spread out for the children. Packiavathi was unfortunate to have been born as the fourth girl child for her parents. Instead of throwing her away like Poomani’s parents did, they decided to make some money. Her parents sold her to a stranger for a few thousand rupees, and the stranger, who was running a child-snatching racket, sold her to a couple for twenty thousand rupees, which is a little over three hundred U.S. Dollars. Child Welfare Forum, a government agency, rescued the baby and brought her to Ashram. So far two individuals have been arrested and sent to prison.
Almost on a weekly basis, abandoned babies and orphaned children continue to be brought to Ashram. This place is also an adoption center and the program to give children to qualified childless parents continues. However, not all children brought to Ashram are babies. Some older orphaned and destitute children are also brought here seeking shelter from the Ashram’s Children’s Home for protection, care and a Christian upbringing.
The costs of operating the programs of the home are significant – rescuing abandoned and unwanted children, following government-prescribed procedures until the children are legally adopted or enter the home, providing nurture and care, and medical needs.
Child Impact, under its Operation Child Rescue initiative, is supporting the Ashram Trust in giving these children, especially little girls, a dignified life. This support demonstrates Child Impact’s core belief in reaching out to children in desperate and needy situations.
If you would would like to give towards Baby Rescues, please donate to Operation Child Rescue.