163, B.L.HATI ROAD, DHALDIGHIPAR, BURDWAN-713101
8 November 2012
The Child Welfare Committee of Burdwan (CWC) has passed interim orders for release of the siblings Abhigyan Bhattacharya (4 yrs) and Aishwarya Bhattacharya (23 months) from foster care and restoration to their mother, Smt. Sagarika Chakraborty.
Along with expert assistance, we have evaluated the children, their condition in the foster home and the capability of their mother to care for them. We have found the mother to be fit to take care of the children and their foster carer to have failed in his duties towards the children.
The care of Abhigyan and Aishwarya is governed by Indian law by virtue of their residence in India and the agreement under which the children were given in foster care to their paternal uncle. Under Indian law, foster care is a temporary measure with the aim of restoration of foster children to their parents wherever possible. Notwithstanding any agreements or court orders as to foster care, the Child Welfare Committee is duty bound to change the foster carer or restore foster children to a parent if continuation in foster care is no longer necessary or beneficial for them. Foster children have a right to the love and care of their parents, if the parents are able to raise them. In this case, the father does not reside in India and the children are being restored to the mother as the parent present in India.
The Norwegian orders under which the children were released to foster care of their 26-year-old bachelor uncle do not justify an absolute or permanent separation of the children from either of their parents. Our findings as to the fitness of the mother and her interaction with the children at visitations arranged by us establish a reasonable basis for giving an opportunity to the children to be re-united with their mother. We are keeping the case open for further review once the children re-commence life with their mother.
We were unable to take charge of the children today for handover to their mother owing to unavailability of police assistance to control an unruly mob that had gathered around the foster home. We have ordered police to ensure law and order so that children can be peacefully handed over at the earliest.
We request members of the press to exercise restraint and show sensitivity in the matter so that the children are given a chance to finally settle into normal life.