When Archana, an policewoman in Bangalore, India, heard the cries of an abandoned newborn on June 2, she was immediately moved.

“I just couldn't bear it," Archana told the BBC. "I felt like my child was crying and I had to feed the baby." 

For 30 minutes, Archana, who recently gave birth to a son of her own, breastfed the baby, according to fellow officer, Nagesh R.

Take Action: Speak out for women's health! Support maternal health and family planning

Archana and her fellow officers were called to the scene after a shopkeeper notified authorities about an abandoned newborn near a construction site, the BBC reported. The baby — who has since been dubbed “little Kumaraswamy” after the head of the state of Karnataka — was found in a plastic bag in the technology industry hub of Bangalore known as “Electronics City,” according to the Hindustan Times.

“Little Kumaraswamy” was reportedly in bad shape when the officers found him, and Archana’s kind act may have helped to save him. 

“We were really scared for his life,” Nagesh told the News Minute. “He wasn’t making any noise or crying and we were quite helpless then.”

Read more: An 8-Month-Old Baby Was Reportedly Raped by Her 28-Year-Old Cousin in India

But the baby seemed to come to life after Archana nursed him. “The baby let out a big cry,” Nagesh told CNN. “The body was shaking — hands and legs. Everybody got so happy."

And now many people, including the Indian Police Service Association, are celebrating her simple, heroic act on social media.

“Little Kumaraswamy” is now in a government child care center and an abandonment complaint has been registered. 

However, his story is not unique. Hundreds of babies are abandoned in India every year, and the overwhelming majority of them are girls.

Prevalent social attitudes in India re-emphasize the idea that girls less valuable than boys and present a greater economic and social burden on families than their potential to achieve. These beliefs have contributed to higher rates of abandoned female babies, sex-selective abortion, and female infanticide, according to the nonprofit SOS Children’s Villages.

Global Citizen campaigns to support gender equality and to protect girls and women from all forms of discrimination. You can take action here to help empower girls and women everywhere.


Defeat Poverty

This Indian Policewoman Breastfed an Abandoned Baby and May Have Saved His Life

By Daniele Selby