Several States have taken steps to set up cradle baby reception centres to enable safe abandonment of babies by their bio logical parents/guardians who may not wish to appear before the child welfare committee for relinquishing the children. The States/UTs have been requested by the Ministry of Women & Child Development to activate and facilitate this provision. As per the information received, cradle baby reception centres have been set up by 11 States at 265 locations and 205 babies have been received in these palnas/cradles so far. This information was given by the Minister Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in reply to a starred question in Rajya Sabha today.
In reply to a supplementary question, Smt Maneka Gandhi said that every state has been asked by the WCD Ministry to set up the cradle system preferably at Primary Health Centres, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Swadhar Units, Short Stay Homes and the office of District Child Protection Unit to receive abandoned babies.
The States of Haryana, Assam, Gujarat and Odisha have set up considerable number of cradles, Smt Maneka Gandhi added. Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka, West Bengal, Manipur and Meghalaya are also among those States who have started putting up cradle baby reception centres.
In reply to another supplementary question, the WCD Minister said that all these abandoned babies will be placed for adoption through a proper process after being declared legally free. The Ministry will also run a campaign through posters and Ad-films to publicise the cradle facility available at designated places.