Posted in Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Street Dogs of India

3 Street Dogs. An abandoned new born baby girl. Kolkata 23rd & 24th May 1996

Photograph by Tapan Mukherjee, courtesy Aajkaal, a Bengali daily (Dated 25th May 1996)

Photograph above: Three street dogs protecting a new-born baby abandoned in Kolkata on the evening of 23rd May, 1996. Below is an excerpt of  a news report filed by Pinaki Mujumdar on the 25th May, 1996 edition of a Bengali daily, named ‘Aajkaal’ which carried the above hear-rendering photograph by Tapan Mukherjee.

This story was carried on the front page of this newspaper and did end up demonstrating the responsible ‘humane’ action of these three street dogs towards a human baby.

This is one of the best examples of sensitive journalism that was accompanied by sharp news sense.

A bright new born baby girl by the side of the dustbin. Sitting around her are three street mongrels. The same unchanging picture throughout the night. This unbelievable and inconceivable incident is not a scene from a screenplay. Nor is it the background to a story causing a sensation throughout the world. It is real-as unalloyedly real as light and air, life and death.This incident stretched at Hartokibagan Lane under Burtolla Police Station from the night of 23rd May, 1996 to 24th May, 1996 morning. Not just that, the three dogs followed like responsible guardians when some people of the locality rescued the new born baby girl and took her to the Burtolla Police Station. They had, unnoticed by all arrived at the door of the Officer-in-charge at Burtolla Police Station I.K Hossain as people were busy watching the baby, who had been put on the officer’s table, move her hands and feet. This scene did not elude the eyes of the policemen and the curious people present at  the police station.

This report states that it was only around 2 pm on 24th May, 1996 , when the baby was put in  a car to be taken to a f home for foundlings  did these three street dogs walk back to their old neighbourhood, walkng slowly….

(Courtesy: Savage Humans and Stray Dogs, a book by Hiranmay Karlekar, Sage Publications 2008)

28 thoughts on “3 Street Dogs. An abandoned new born baby girl. Kolkata 23rd & 24th May 1996

  1. Dogs are amazing in their capacity to love and give without wanting anything in return. Well done for posting a really great story. thank you.


      1. Actually the registration no. is in English (WRE 3856). What we are viewing here a mirror image of the original picture possibly during the scanning process. I have a copy of Hiranmay Karlekar’s book ‘Savage Humans & Stray Dogs’ where the photo is placed on the page before the contents page.

        This is an actual incident that was indeed reported in the Bengali-newspaper Aajkaal.

        The book contains another news story about another intrepid trio of dogs who undertook a similar mission. In Hiranmay’s words:

        “Thus while newspapers and television channels regularly played up reports of dogs biting people, most of them gave comparatively little space to an incident near Tumkur in which three village dogs had saved the life of a new-born baby that had been deserted by its unwed mother at the Devarayanadurga reserve forest. According to a report in the Bangalore edition of The New Indian Express of 10 March 2007, the mother, a young girl, had been made pregnant by an employee of the Forest Department engaged on a daily wage basis. He refused to marry her. Fearing social ostracization because she was single she had decided to deliver the baby secretly.

        She went to the forest accompanied by a person whom the report described as ‘caretaker’ and was followed by three dogs from her village. Having delivered by the evening, she returned to the village accompanied by the ‘caretaker’. The three dogs, however, stayed back guarding the new-born baby from possible attack by wild animals. Next morning, their barking attracted the attention of a man who had gone to the forest to gather tamarind. He brought the baby back to the village and returned it to the mother after finding her.

        The report had a happy ending. The villagers, it said, patted the dogs profusely for saving a human life and resolved to get the woman married to the man who had made her pregnant.
        The New Indian Express carried the bulk of the report on page seven with a brief mention on page one. “


    1. Sir, its a 1996 story, dogs unfortunately dont live that long so the heroes for sure are now in good heavens…as for the baby, as you can read she was taken by people to the police station as she was an abandoned child…she may have found a home hopefully…the media wasnt as spread out then as it is now to follow up, may be people in Kolkata have or can follow up on this story using the dates and facts mentioned in this story…sorry, we wont be knowing the current details of the child


  2. Since 1996…. and there are plenty of us, still so inhuman. Let’s stop commenting, and face the reality – step into this world of reality and be that change we wanna see. Not everyone would change though. But let’s do our best to change the world around us.


  3. The social stigma compels a human to act inhumanly which can even suppress the motherly instinct THE MOST PRIMAL INSTINCT AMONGST MAMMALS.


  4. Now I am facing d problem (with my lovely Golden Retriever) with some people. So after seeing all ur articles regarding pets and stray dogs I am so confident and I too will start educate them with the help of ur articles. Thank u very much


  5. I’m very surprised that the 3 hero dogs haven’t got adopted yet. I would’ve adopt them right away if I was there back then. The dogs are more humane and responsible more than most human and what ever happened to them I hope they live the rest of their lives in peace and enough to eat since good karma will return them a favor…………..
    The shortest explanation of karma that I know is: ‘you get what you give’. In other words; whatever you do intentionally to others, a similar thing will happen to yourself in the future. Causing suffering to others will cause suffering to ourselves, causing happiness to others will result in happiness for


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