Baby dies for delayed train, mother commits suicide

A 10-month old baby dies for not being able to reach a medical facility in time due to delayed arrival at Howrah Station

Puja Singh

Howrah, Oct 21: A 26-year-old mother bringing her ailing son for treatment to Calcutta from Uttar Pradesh, jumped to her death in the Hooghly on Saturday morning, after the boy was declared dead at a city hospital.

Puja Singh, whose paternal home is in Bon Behari Bose Road in central Howrah, was married to Dhananjay Singh in Balia, Bihar six year’s back.  Puja’s  10-month-old  son was suffering from congenital tuberculosis and was undergoing treatment at a Balia hospital. On Wednesday, the baby’s condition deteriorated and Puja was advised Puja to bring him to Calcutta for better treatment.

Puja boarded Howrah bound Bibhuti Express from Balia station on October 18, with her son, two minor daughters and father-in-law. The train was scheduled to arrive at Howrah Station at 7.30am, but it was running late. Meanwhile, the baby’s condition deteriorated in the train. Puja was anxiously waiting to arrive at Howrah Station where her brother, Dharmendra Singh, was waiting. The train finally reached Howrah at 1.30pm and Puja rushed her baby to Shree Jain Hospital. Although doctors started treatment immediately, the baby died within an hour.

The family members consoled the grieving mother and took her to her to her paternal home. “She refused to eat and cried all night. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, she left home when everyone was asleep. We lodged a missing diary at the Howrah Police Station in the morning when we realised that she was missing. Around noon, police informed us that a body of a woman was floating near Coal Depot Ghat. We went there and identified Puja,” said Dharmendra, Puja’s brother.

“The baby was brought to the hospital too late and we did not get enough time to treat him. Had he been brought a couple of hours earlier, we could have saved him,” said a doctor at the hospital on condition of anonymity.

Ravi Mahapatra, the chief public relation officer (CPRO), eastern railway, could not be contacted for comment.