A woman and her husband from Rajasthan were arrested on Thursday for "selling" their eight-day-old child to their neighbour for Rs 40,000. They claim they needed the money for their two-year-old paralytic son's treatment. They are now out on bail.
Sandhya Devi, a resident of Sriganganagar, was pregnant when she was told by doctors in Udaipur that her elder son's treatment would cost Rs.40,000. Worried that she would not be able to gather that amount, she returned to her town, where a neighbour offered to help. But there was a catch. The neighbour said she would give her the money in exchange for her newborn, but only if she gave birth to a boy.
A couple of days later, when Sandhya Devi delivered a baby boy, the neighbour gave her Rs 20,000.
The couple claims poverty forced them to give their child away for adoption. "My elder child was sick so I had to give the newborn for adoption for Rs 40,000. But I only got Rs 20,000. The rest was sabotaged by that woman who was the middleman. Her name is Madhu, she is a midwife. She told me to take Rs 20,000 for the time being and asked me to collect the rest from her home later. When I went to take the money, I did not get that," said Ashok Kumar, Sandhya Devi's husband. He works as a part-time salesman in Sriganganagar. The couple lives in a rented, one-room accommodation.
A team of the anti-human trafficking branch of Rajasthan Police got a tip-off about the illegal deal to sell the baby after which an investigation was launched.
"This baby was born in Bahl Hospital. He was given for adoption in return of money. An adoption can only be undertaken through the District Child Protection committee. Besides, no money or gifts can be exchanged in adoption cases," said a police officer who investigated the case.
A First Information Report was registered against Sandhya, her husband Ashok, neighbour Vinod Agarwal, his wife Shakuntala Devi and some officials who did the paperwork for the adoption on Wednesday evening. Five of them including Sandhya Devi and her husband were arrested on Thursday, but they were later released on bail. Their newborn child is now back with the couple.If you would like to help the couple, you can make donations through the Tapovan Trust.Account number:
Oriental Bank of Commerce
G Block Branch, Sriganganagar
All cheques to be addressed to Tapovan TrustAddress:
Mr Mahesh Periwal
Jawahar Nagar, Sri Ganganagar - 335001
Rajasthan, India Phone Number:
9414093369This information has been provided / published on a good faith basis, without any commercial motive. NDTV does not vouch for the authenticity of the claims made by the intending done, nor can we guarantee that the donations made by a donor will be used for the purpose as stated by the intending donee. You are requested to independently verify the contact information and other details before making a donation. NDTV and/or its employees will not be responsible for the same.