Newborn baby girl is found abandoned covered in ants amid fears her Indian parents dumped her because she was not a boy

Newborn baby found covered in ants in a bin in central India
It is believed parents dumped child in rubbish for being a girl
Baby girl is in critical condition after being bitten by the ants

Abandoned: The newborn baby girl was found inside a bin and covered in ants after a passer-by heard her cries 

A newborn baby girl has been rescued from a bin where she was found dumped in a plastic bag, covered in ants.
Police in Bhopal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh believe she may have been abandoned by her parents because she was not a boy.

She was found by a passer-by who heard cries from inside the rubbish container, and found the severely underweight baby abandoned.

Her hero: Dheeraj Rathore, who runs a tea stall, heard the baby cry  from a bin in some bushes in Bhopal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh

Dheeraj Rathore, who runs a tea stall, heard the baby cry in the early hours of Saturday.
Dheeraj said: ‘I was passing through the bin when I heard the cries of a baby.

Heartbreaking: Police fear the baby may have been dumped because she's a girl

‘I was was shocked to see an infant’s head sticking out of a red polybag in a garbage vat among the bushes.
‘Ants were all over her head and body.

Rathore called for help from two friends, and together they and his two friends cleared the insects from the infant’s body, wrapped her in a cloth and took her to a nearby hospital.

Rescued: The severely underweight baby is now in critical condition in hospital 

Medical staff say the child’s condition is critical, and she weighs just 3.5lbs. The normal weight for a baby carried to term is between 5.5lbs and 8.8lbs.

In care: Pictures from hospital shows the little girl's body covered in marks

When she was brought to the hospital, she also has several bruises and marks on her body which could indicate physical abuse.
Police have registered a case and are looking for the parents.

The preference of sons over daughters is a serious issue in many parts of India, with fewer than 800 girls are born for every 1,000 boys in some states.

This has several causes; as daughters are traditionally married off with a dowry, they leave the family and are not around to care for their parents and a dowry can be costly.

Sons are also traditionally seen as potential heirs to property and the family business, however gender equality campaigners are trying to change this view.