A premature baby who was found buried alive in a cemetery two months ago has made a miraculous recovery.
Incredibly the tiny baby girl had been found by a father who was digging a grave for his own daughter – a stillborn – when he uncovered the child at a village gravesite in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state.
The father said he had dug about three feet (almost one metre) down when his shovel hit and cracked open a clay pot and he suddenly heard a baby crying.
Doctors suspected the 8-day-old baby had been underground for several hours.
The premature infant weighed just 1.1kg when she taken to a government hospital in a critical condition in mid-October with severe dehydration and blood infections before being transferred to a private hospital, AFP reported at the time.
Now two months later, her paediatrician, Dr Ravi Khanna, has told the BBC the little girl was a picture of good health and weighs 2.57kg.
“She's accepting bottle feed and she is now totally healthy," Dr Khanna said.
It was widely reported at the time the baby had been buried alive for several days, but experts believe it was more likely “two to three hours”.
If she hadn’t been found when she was, she might have survived for “another hour or two”.
However, according to Dr Khanna, it’s not impossible she could have been buried for as long as “three to four days”, explaining babies, even premature ones, are born with fat on their abdomen, thigh and cheek, which they can survive on for some time in an emergency.
In any case, the discovery at the time and her subsequent full recovery has left the doctor amazed.
"It's a miracle that she survived being buried for so long," he previously told AFP.
An investigation was launched by police to find the infant’s parents, but they have so far not been traced, the BBC reported.
If found, they would be facing attempted murder and child endangerment charges.
Police had searched villages in the region of the cemetery where she was dug up, asking locals about recent pregnancies.
Despite widespread media coverage and a police search, no solid leads were uncovered, meaning the baby will eventually be put up for adoption.
In the meantime, she will remain custody of child welfare authorities in the Bareilly district, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Indian officials have not speculated on why the little girl was abandoned and buried in the way she was, but the BBC reported India's gender ratio was one of the worst in the world.
“Women are often discriminated against socially and girls are seen as a financial burden, especially among poor communities,” BBC News’s Delhi correspondent Geeta Pandey wrote.
“Although most unwanted female foetuses are aborted with help from illegal sex determination clinics, cases of baby girls being killed after birth are not uncommon either.”
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