Teens save abandoned baby

2019-07-08 10:30
Reval Mohan (13) and Rishay Singh (16) have become local heroes in Richmond after saving an abandoned newborn baby.

Reval Mohan (13) and Rishay Singh (16) have become local heroes in Richmond after saving an abandoned newborn baby. (Moeketsi Mamane)

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They’re now known as Richmond’s very own superheroes — the two teenage boys who walked through hail to save an abandoned baby during their school holidays.

Cousins Rishay Singh (16) and Reval Mohan (13), got the shock of their lives on Tuesday afternoon when they discovered a newborn baby inside a zipped-up handbag outside a housing complex in Richmond where they were visiting family.

Later medical assessments found that the baby girl was likely born that day, and still had the umbilical cord attached.

Meanwhile, the Richmond community has rallied around the baby, and have donated items worth thousands of rands to the child.

“It was quite a small bag. I opened it and we saw something moving inside and realised it was a baby,” Rishay told Weekend Witness. “I thought it may have been a puppy or something,” Reval said.

“We were quite scared and the only place I could think of to take the child was the police station. The baby was asleep the entire time and wasn’t making a noise.”

As it began to get dark and started to hail, the two walked to the police station, which was a street away. They tried flagging down cars for transport, but nobody stopped. “We gave the baby to a police officer who then called an ambulance.”

The baby was later sent to the Esimphiwe Child Care Centre, in Richmond, where she still is.

Rishay and Reval have visited the baby since their heroics. “We went to see her and we were happy to see she’s okay.”

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Lucky Sitathi, the director of the Esimphiwe Child Care Centre, holds the handbag in which the baby  was found.

Both were shy and reserved when asked how they felt about being labelled heroes by the Richmond community.

Lucky Sitathi, director of Esimphiwe, said the orphanage gave the baby the name of Esothando. She joins 18 other children at the home, which takes in children aged from birth to five years old.

He said Esothando was assessed by a nurse this week, who said the baby was likely born on the same day she was abandoned. She was given a clean bill of health.

“Babies get abandoned very often. Most of the time they are left at the hospital. What usually happens is, the mother gives birth, then says she needs to run out to the shop or something and they do not return,” Sitathi said.

He said the Department of Social Development will seek a home for Esothando, and he expected she will remain at the orphanage for six months.

Richaiye Jugree, one of the locals who began the drive for donations for the baby, said donations were still pouring in for the child.

He said they collected about R4 000 worth of nappies, bottles, baby wipes and clothing within just five hours of putting the word out.

“We went around on Wednesday asking businesses for some stuff. We shared posts on social media which got people interested in donating. “We left the items at the orphanage and also spent some time with the kids. I spoke to the orphanage and they said they often require things and sometimes buy supplies out of their own pocket. We are looking at making this a regular thing of collecting goods for the children there every month,” Jugree said.

 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  child abandonment
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