BBC News

Indian rickshaw-puller's baby Damini leaves hospital

By Narayan Bareth

media captionMr Jatav's heart-rending story has moved people around the world

A nine-week-old Indian baby girl, whose rickshaw-puller father was forced to take her to work when her mother died, has been discharged from hospital.

Hospital staff held a celebration when it was time for Baby Damini to go home with her father Bablu Jatav on Monday.

She was taken to hospital in October and doctors said she was weak and underweight. Her father had to carry her in a cloth sling as he worked.

People from around the world have sent money moved by the family's plight.

Mr Jatav's wife, Shanti, died on 20 September soon after giving birth to their first child in the town of Bharatpur in Rajasthan state. As there was nobody to look after the baby, Mr Jatav had to take her to work with him every day.

image captionBablu Jatav carried Damini in a cloth sling around his neck after his wife died

"I am very happy. When we brought Damini here we had little hope. But because of everyone's prayers and the doctors' care, Damini is now healthy," Mr Jatav told the BBC on Monday.

Dr JK Mittal at Jaipur's Fortis Hospital, who took care of Baby Damini, said: "When she was brought here she weighed a mere 1.4kg (3.08 lb) but now she weighs 2.1kg (4.62 lb). It's a good indication.

"But it's necessary that in the future she gets a good diet, otherwise she may continue to face health problems," he added.

Baby Damini's story on the BBC website in October drew worldwide attention and sympathy, and people pitched in to help the infant and her father.

The district administration paid for Baby Damini's treatment and a Bharatpur-based non-governmental organisation, Apna Ghar, has now stepped in to help Mr Jatav take care of his daughter.

(BBC readers wanting to help Bablu Jatav and Baby Damini should get in touch with BM Bhardwaj of Apna Ghar on 0091-9414023049 or 0091-9950737673. The Apna Ghar NGO website address is:

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