Earlier this week, it was just another routine day for Gullu Chaudhary who works as a boatman in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. Little did he know that an instinctive act on his part would earn him applauds from the government and many people overnight.
It all started when he found a wooden box floating in the Ganga at Dadri Ghat. The Ghazipur District authorities say that many bystanders heard an infant’s whimpers from it, but it was Chaudhary who jumped into the Ganges and brought the box to safety. When he opened it, he found the 21-day-old baby lying inside it along with a note that proclaimed her to be “Ganga ki beti” (daughter of the Ganga).
The box was decorated with a red cloth and had photos of Goddess Durga and Lord Vishnu as well. The girl’s waist was tied with a chunari, and a horoscope containing the date and time of her birth was also inside the box, Times Now reports.
On Wednesday, chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced that the state government will bear the cost of the baby’s upbringing. She has been sent to the Government Women’s Hospital’s special neonatal care unit, and legal formalities are being done as per the Juvenile Justice Act.
Chaudhary mentioned that he would have liked to adopt the girl, The Tribune reports. He stated, “I have a daughter and two sons. I could have taken care of the child, but the district child welfare officers have taken her to the hospital.”
For Chaudhary’s noble gesture in rescuing her, he would be receiving a new boat from the state government, along with benefits of other government schemes as per his eligibility.
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On Thursday, officials visited Chaudhary’s house near Dadri Ghat to collect his details. “District Magistrate Ghazipur personally enquired about the financial condition of Chaudhary. It has been found that he owns a house. Therefore, he has not been found eligible for benefit under the housing scheme. As it also came to light that he operates the boat of some other persons to earn a livelihood, the administration has decided to recommend that he be given a boat,” Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agrawal explained.
Chaudhary requested the officials for the construction of a pucca (concrete) road up to his house which is currently in a dilapidated condition. The officials told him that the matter would be taken up soon and asked him to meet them at a temple campus near Dadri Ghat on Tuesday evening.
Kudos to the boatman! We hope he receives his reward soon.