Rajamala, September 10, 2019: A one-year-old toddler fell off a moving jeep but survived the fall and was reunited with its mother hours later in Kerala.
Rohita, the infant, fell from her mother Sathyabhama’s lap at 5th mile checkpost in Rajamala at around 9:30 pm on September 7 as their family was returning home after a visit to Palani temple in neighboring Tamil Nadu.
CCTV footage shows the baby, after falling on the road, crawling towards a lit-up area close by, which turned out to be a forest checkpost. Forest officials said the path is often frequented by wild animals, including elephants.
“Luckily, the baby crawled towards the light. If she had gone in the other direction, she would have fallen into a pit,” said Munnar wildlife warden R Lakshmi, who rushed to the spot after she was contacted by checkpost officials around 10pm.
“The toddler was injured on her forehead and hands, and was crying. We admitted her to Munnar Tata Tea Hospital. On inspecting the CCTV footage at the checkpost, we found that she had fallen from a jeep. We informed Munnar police and the control room. The child was handed over to parents around 1.30am,” she added.
The mother hadn’t realized her girl child had slipped from her arms while she dozed off in the vehicle.
Her parents and extended family, who had dozed off in the SUV, did not realize that she had fallen off.
The family members had nodded off and realized the toddler missing only when they reached home at Mullarikudy, some 40 km from the spot where the child fell. They reported to Vellathooval police and the message was passed to all nearby police stations.
A forest official saw on the CCTV the baby crawling near a check post in the dark.
At around 9:30 on September 7 sub-Inspector K M Santosh in the hilly, tourist town of Munnar received a strange alert: a baby has been found crawling in the middle of the road near a forest.
He said as soon as they found the baby, they alerted all the police stations in the region. By then, the baby’s parents had realized that she was missing and had approached the police.
“I got the alarm call around 9:40 pm. By 10 pm, the infant was with us and medical aid was given. Messages were passed to all police station limits. By 11 pm, we got to know that a child missing complaint had been filed at one of the police stations around 6 km away. We called the parents and the child has been safely reunited,” Santosh said.
The baby, her parents and their extended family were returning home from neighboring Tamil Nadu after performing temple rituals. The baby has a brother and a sister.