A woman lay dead along the railway tracks with her year-old son clinging to her chest, trying to breastfeed. He cried and shook his mother fitfully, wondering why she won’t wake up.
Early on Wednesday morning, the woman's body was spotted by a train driver in Damoh, around 250 km from state capital Bhopal. Her starving one-year-old son was clinging to her, weeping, trying to nudge her awake. When the police and officials arrived, they found the child sucking at his mother's breast, stopping only to nibble at a biscuit he held.
The police suspect the woman may have fallen off a train or was hit. She had a head wound. The baby was saved because his mother held him, it is believed. According to officials, she may have been conscious for a while after being hit, and tried to feed her son.
Another layer was added to the unspeakable tragedy when the two were taken to a government hospital. Officials allegedly refused to take in the child as there was no one to pay Rs. 10 for admission. A ward boy finally fished out the money to get the process started.The infant is at a children's home. Officials are trying to search for any family member or relative who may show up.
"When he came to us, he was very restless, crying...he was missing his mother and it was very hard to calm him down," said Sarita, a care worker. "Since yesterday, he is a little better. He recognizes us and is even eating well. We are trying to make him feel like he is with family, safe..." The only clue that the police have in their attempts at identifying the woman is a purse that was found near her.