Rickshaw puller carries his little girl as he pedals

Rickshaw puller carries his little girl as he pedals

Mum passed away after delivery

It is an unusual sight. In Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district these days, a man pedals his rickshaw with one hand on the handle while he holds his month-old daughter with the other.

Babloo has no option.  His wife Shanti died after delivering the girl. He has no one in the family except his old and infirm father. If he doesn't go out to work, there would be nothing at home to feed his father and daughter.

Babloo says his wife conceived after long years of prayers.  There was no limit to his joy when she delivered a baby girl. But it was short lived. Soon, she developed complications due to excessive bleeding.

Babloo rushed her to hospital. “The doctor told me to arrange blood. When I returned to the hospital with the blood, the doctor said it was too late.”

The rickshaw puller requested his relatives to look after the child when he goes to work but they refused.

He could not leave the child at home as there was nobody there to look after her. Nor could he afford to take off from work. Babloo then decided to take the infant along with him. He carries the child on a cloth swing, hung from his neck. 

He carries a milk bottle to feed the child and takes care of her whenever he gets free time.

Babloo tries his best, but it's too much for a month- old to bear the heat and dust of the world outside. The baby falls ill frequently. Recently he had to admit her at a hospital, he says.  

He stays in a rented room which costs him Rs 500 per month. The rickshaw owner has to be paid a rent of Rs 30 per day. Whatever he earns over that is his daily income.
Sometimes passengers try to help him by holding the child while he pedals the rickshaw, and show sympathy to him. But he says he doesn't want any sympathy – what he needs is a job which would help him take care of his child better.

 Babloo is determined. “I want to raise my child. I want to educate her.  This is a precious gift from my wife.” Inspiring words amid stories of female newborns being thrown into garbage dumps.

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