UAE’s ‘little angel’: Hours-old infant abandoned in store parking lot
The newborn was found - umbilical cord still attached - wrapped in a white towel and secured with tightly wound nylon rope.
A newborn girl found dumped in the parking lot of Safeer Market in Sharjah’s al-Majaz area has been hailed as a true fighter after surviving the UAE’s desert heat and sweltering humidity on Sunday.
Her umbilical chord still attached, the little angel was spotted around noon by an Arab motorist lying dangerously close to the front wheel of his SUV as he was about to get in the car.
“What if the child had not caught his eye? I dread to think what might have happened,” said Indian parking attendant Subhash, 35, who dashed to the spot after being alerted by the Arab man.
“The sight that greeted me was gut-wrenching,” Subhash recalled.
“The baby was wrapped in a white towel, a nylon rope wound tightly around her body. Her face was covered with just a part of her head sticking out. For a moment I thought she was dead but when I picked the little bundle and loosened the rope, she stirred. As I gently parted the folds of the towel, the blazing sun hit her squarely in the face and she squinted her eyes. I will never forget that moment. Sighing with relief I cradled the baby in my arms and rushed her to my air-conditioned portable cabin from where I called my manager.”
Doctors from the nearby Prime Specialist Medical Centre who briefly attended the infant said the baby girl was barely a few hours old and could have easily died had she not been so fortunately discovered.
“Thankfully, she required minimal medical intervention despite being exposed to temperatures in excess of 40°C. She is a true fighter,” said a nurse.
“Her face had swollen and turned all red because of the extreme heat and she looked in great discomfort. Our doctors promptly checked her vital signs and stabilised her condition while a Safeer Market staff called the police. They arrived within minutes,” said the administrator of Prime Specialist Medical Centre.
Sharjah Police earlier said the abandoned baby was nine months old. The child is in the city’s Al Qasimi Hospital and reportedly in good health. Police have meanwhile launched a hunt to track down her heartless parents.
Until they are found, the baby is likely to remain with a child protection committee in Sharjah.
Cases of child abandonment have increased lately in a frighteningly grotesque manner in Sharjah, sparking concern among community elders, health professionals and social workers.
In one month alone last year, as many as four abandoned children were found in various parts of the city.
Social workers say unmarried mothers abandon their newborns because they fear the consequences of having a baby out of wedlock.
Anyone convicted of having sex out of wedlock faces a prison sentence of up to two years under UAE law.
By Mazhar Farooqui