Police personnel are known for their tough image, but the men in uniform in Madhya Pradesh are showing their humane side and donning a new role - saviours of newborn babies dumped by their parents.
Besides their routine task of maintaining law and order and controlling crime, they are also rescuing abandoned children and literally giving them a new lease of life.
As many as 402 newborns, mostly girls, were found abandoned at various places in the state in the last 29 months. They were taken to hospitals in time by personnel of Dial-100, an emergency service of the Madhya Pradesh Police introduced to help people in distress, an official said.
The deserted infants are shifted to hospitals for immediate medical care in first response vehicles (FRVs) which are part of the emergency service.
While sharing the data of rescued children, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Dial-100 Service, Hemant Sharma told PTI, "In one such incident, a FRV rescued a newborn on Friday from Guhiadol village in Sidhi district.
"The control room got a phone call at 8 pm and a FRV swung into action and took the infant to the district hospital."
"The cops posted in Dial-100 service of the Madhya Pradesh Police have rescued 402 abandoned infants and taken them to hospitals between December 2016 and May 2018," he said.
Most of the rescued infants were girls, but "we do not record this data gender-wise. We record the recovered infants only as newborns", he said.
Additional Director General (ADG), Police Telecom, Upendra Jain, who heads the service, said people have come to response a lot of trust in the initiative which is intended to help citizens in distress.
"Dial-100 is an emergency service that helps people facing harassment, eve-teasing, loot and other such crimes in public places, which need prompt police intervention.
"People are also approaching this service in case they find an abandoned newborn," he said.
Madhya Pradesh is among the states with a skewed child sex ratio, though situation has been improved in the past three decades. Child sex ratio is defined as the number of females per thousand males in the age group 0-6 years.
Child rights activist Rakesh Malviya said, "According to available records, barely 50 cases of foeticide were registered in the country in 2014. In Madhya Pradesh, this number stood at 15.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)