In Pakistan, after the birth of unwanted children, the incidents of throwing them in a garbage heap or garbage can are seen and heard, some charities are doing the work of saving the lives of these children.
In Pakistan, we see and hear cases of unwanted children being thrown into a garbage heap or a garbage can, but some charitable organizations are working to provide an alternative way to save the parents of these children from this crime. are
A cradle is placed outside the centers of the Edhi Foundation, an organization that has gained prominence in Pakistan by carrying out charitable activities. Parents of such children leave them in the cradle in the dark of night from where Edhi Foundation staff take them to the orphanage.
Edhi Foundation has provided 300 such cradles across the country. Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder of this organization, started this series in 1952 under the name ‘Jhole’ to nurture such rejected children. “The aim of our project is to save the lives of newborn babies who were previously dumped in garbage dumps and deserted places,” Faisal Edhi, the current head of the foundation, told DW.
Following this trend, Chhipa Welfare Association has set up 100 such cradles in Karachi, the largest center of economic activity in Pakistan. Other charities are also running orphanages across the country but they do not receive as many rejected children as the Edhi Foundation and Chhipa Welfare Association.
Why do people throw away children in Pakistan?
Illegitimate children dumped on roadsides in Pakistan are born as a result of not taking precautions in illicit sex. Similarly, many sexually abused women become pregnant by force and because they do not have easy access to abortion facilities, they are forced to give up their newborns. In Pakistan’s conservative society, unwed mothers are not considered good and are not allowed to have abortions. So the result is that the illegitimate children are either killed or their name and mark erased with extreme brutality.
Faisal Edhi said that 95 percent of the children left at the foundation’s centers are girls and this is because poor and conservative families consider girls a burden. The organization fosters these children in orphanages or makes them available to married couples for adoption, but before doing so, the adopting couple is thoroughly screened and thoroughly interviewed. is done Edhi said that children who are adopted are also monitored later.
Speaking to DW, an official of Chhipa Welfare Association, Mohammad Shahid, said that the majority of rejected children are found in the suburbs of cities. He further informed that 70% of such children are girls and half of the discarded children are dead. Dr. Niaz Muhammad posted at Polyclinic Hospital in Islamabad said that the number of women who visit the hospital for giving birth to unwanted children is very less and some of them escape from the hospital after going through the maternity process.
Can Pakistani parents who reject their children be sentenced to prison?
Abandoning one’s children is a punishable offense under Pakistani law. According to the Pakistan Penal Code, if a father, mother or guardian deprives a child under the age of 12 years of custody, they can be sentenced to seven years in prison. This was told by lawyer Nadeem Farhat Gilani to DW. He further informed that if the child’s life is lost as a result of doing so, then a case of murder can be filed against the parents.
A police official stationed in Islamabad said law enforcers encourage people to hand over children to charity rather than abandoning them. The death of an abandoned child falls under the category of homicide (premeditated murder) and therefore the police are bound to take legal action in such cases. But in most cases the culprit is not found and the culprit manages to escape punishment.
What do religious scholars say about providing cradles?
Religious organizations in Pakistan are against providing cradles for such children. They are of the opinion that installing swings does not eliminate the root of this problem. The imam of the mosque, Muhammad Kamil, while talking about this matter, said that the reform of the entire society is necessary to prevent this practice. He said, “There is a need to first determine why people throw away children and then focus on improving the situation instead of just adopting illegitimate children.”
On the other hand, Qibla Ayaz, Chairman of the Islamic Ideological Council, an organization that guides the parliament and the government on religious matters, believes that it is better to put rejected children in cradles than to kill them or throw them away. He said that the children born as a result of such relationships are not born illegitimate by their own will. So parents are responsible for their coming into this world and not the children themselves. He added, “Just as sex outside of marriage is forbidden in Islam, killing someone is also forbidden.”
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