A newborn baby who was buried alive in a clay pot miraculously survived for two days before she was discovered, according to authorities in India.
The baby girl is in stable condition at a hospital in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, RT News reports.
Authorities suspect the attempted infanticide may have happened because the baby is a girl. Sex-selection abortions and infanticide are a huge problem in India because of the cultural preference for sons.
According to the Mirror, doctors estimate that the baby girl spent two days in the clay pot before a local man found her. They said she probably survived because she was premature and did not need as much oxygen.
The man who found her, Hitesh Kumar Sirohi, said he was digging a grave for his own stillborn daughter when he dug up the clay pot with the baby girl inside. She was about 3 feet underground, according to the reports.
Hitesh Kumar Sirohi contacted local authorities and fed the baby milk while he waited for them to arrive, the reports state.
The baby girl now is in stable condition at a local hospital. Doctors said she weighed 2.4 pounds (1.1 kilograms) when she arrived.
“The hospital staff have named the baby Sita. She is undergoing treatment here, she has not yet recovered fully,” said Vimal Kumar, director of the hospital neonatal intensive care unit. “As of now, her life has been saved. We are trying to trace the girl’s mother.”
Local police said they are investigating, and they suspect gender discrimination was a motive.
“We are trying to find the parents of the baby, and we suspect that this must have happened with their consent,” local police chief Abhinandan Singh said.
Though illegal in India, sex-selection abortions and infanticide continue to occur at a shocking rate. In 2018, the Government of India estimated that 63 million women are missing from its population due to sex-selection abortions, infanticide and other discriminatory violence.
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In July, statistics from one Indian district revealed that no baby girls were born in a three-month period. All of the 216 babies who were born in the Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand state in northern India, were boys.
India prohibits sex-selection abortions, as well as ultrasounds to determine the sex of the unborn child, but the deadly discrimination still occurs. Indian authorities have been cracking down on the practice as the population suffers.
The 2011 India census data showed there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under age 7, according to the BBC. In some parts of the country, the problem was even worse. For example, in the Indian state of Tiruvannamalai, boys outnumbered girls at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.
The Alliance Defending Freedom estimates about 50,000 unborn baby girls are killed every month in India simply because they are girls.
Meanwhile, most American states do not prohibit sex-selection abortions. Though studies indicate unborn baby girls frequently are targeted for abortions, the American abortion industry fights vehemently against sex-selection abortion bans.