Even as the 20-day-old boy sold by his father to a Delhi-based businessman has fallen ill due to his mother's inability to take care of him, officials' apathy has led to a war of words over the issue.
After his rescue, the baby's mother Champa took him and her other three children to
live in Kabir Vihar in Basti Bawa Khel, on the outskirts of the city.
Kabir Vihar residents alleged that they informed the police officials and requested them to take the boy to the hospital after his condition started deteriorating, but no official came to their rescue.
They said that Champa was unable to take proper care of the baby, and the neighbours were giving her food and milk to feed the four children.
The residents also claimed that the one-room facility where Champa was staying with her children was in a remote location and had no arrangements for water, toilet, bathroom and electricity, and their plight was totally ignored by the administration.
A resident Sonu said Champa did not have money to even pay the rent of the room, and had to sell all her belongings, including utensils and beds to collect rent money.
He alleged that when police officials were informed about the departure of Champa and her children, they said, “If they are going, let them go.”
“The whole family is suffering due to the father's fault,” Sonu said.
After officials failed to take action, the residents informed Champa's relatives, who took her to Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, a representative of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said the rescued child should have been produced before the child welfare committee for a decision of his rehabilitation, but it was not done.
He should have been referred to a special care home or protected under a central government scheme.
Accusing the district administration, state government and state commission for protection of child rights of having failed to rehabilitate the baby, NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo said it was the duty of the administration to take care of the
Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights secretary Sameer Kumar also laid the onus on the administration and social welfare department, saying they were responsible for the care of the child after his recovery.
Deputy commissioner Varun Roojam said an inquiry would be conducted by sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) into why the procedure of the baby's rehabilitation was not started.
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