"When I opened the wooden box, I found her."
An Indian boatman is being hailed as a hero after he rescued a 21-day-old baby girl that was found abandoned in a wooden box.
The wooden box had been floating along the Ganges.
Gullu Chaudhary was among several local villagers who heard the baby’s cries at Dadri Ghat, Ghazipur.
It was reported that although many people heard the cries, no one came forward to help.
Gullu said: “But I rushed to rescue her. When I opened the wooden box, I found her.”
Inside the box was a piece of paper that read: “Daughter of the Ganga.”
It was reported that the child’s horoscope chart was also inside the box.
The infant was wrapped in a red cloth. The box was also covered with incense sticks and had images of deities.
The Indian boatman’s heroics were praised. It even saw Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath applaud Gullu for saving the baby.
Gullu briefly looked after the child before officials took the baby to hospital, where doctors monitored her health.
It is believed that the baby is being taken care of at a children’s shelter.
Police do not know why the child was abandoned, however, they are currently searching for the parents.
Meanwhile, Gullu said that he would have liked to have adopted the child.
He said: “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.”
Mr Adityanath promised that the state will be responsible for raising the child. He also said that Gullu will receive government benefits.
The Chief Minister said: “As a token of gratitude, he will be benefited by all eligible government schemes.
“The UP government will make arrangements for the upbringing of the child.”
On the government benefits, Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agrawal said:
“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.”
Gullu also asked if the road leading up to his house could be reconstructed as it is in poor condition.
Officials stated that the matter would be taken up soon.