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Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 05, 2013
When their missing son came back home after six months, his family was unable to decide whether to celebrate his return or grieve his plight. Their son Apurva Singh (name changed) was a victim of forced castration, carried out by a group of eunuchs. Six months ago, when the 12-year-old did not show up long after school hours, his worker parents approached the police who failed to locate him. Apurva became yet another name in their list of 5,540 children, who went missing last year.

The Singh family had lost all hope of finding their son, until last week when Apurva showed up at their doorstep. He was their son, but the child inside him was gone. “He was http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/3/05_03_13-metro2.jpgmuch more mature,” recalled a neighbour.

He had been lured by a person with the offer of sweets. That person had been friendly with him for some days. An unsuspecting Apurva ate the sweets he offered and fainted. When he woke up, he found himself on a dirty cot in a small dingy room.  

Apurva was surrounded by a group of eunuchs, who offered him good food and new clothes and said they were now his family. He was kept there for the next few days. The eunuchs began teaching him all about his new life — of being a eunuch.

Almost two months later, the boy said he was given a tablet that made him unconscious. He was apparently castrated in his sleep and he woke up with pain in his private parts. “The eunuchs told me that the pain will subside soon and gave me medicines,” Apurva recalled.

The wounds healed in a month after which he was made a part of a group of eunuchs, who would collect money at marriage venues and the homes of newborns. He got his share of money every day. Confident that he will return on his own, Apurva was finally allowed to visit his family.  

Rakesh Senger of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a child rights group, said “Nearly seven children go missing from Delhi every day.” He said cases like Apurva’s were not unusual in Delhi, but their number was not very high.

A similar case was reported in 2008 from Jahangirpuri in northwest Delhi.