Poor Odisha couple 'sell' 2-day-old son to foot medical expenses
Crumbling under the weight of severe finincial crisis, a poor couple in Odisha’s Balangir district allegedly sold their two-day-old child. While the couple has refuted the allegation, the district administration and police have started separate probes into the incident.india Updated: Jun 03, 2015 02:41 IST
Crumbling under the weight of severe finincial crisis, a poor couple in Odisha’s Balangir district allegedly sold their two-day-old child. While the couple has refuted the allegation, the district administration and police have started separate probes into the incident.
Bedabyasa Dash (38), a cycle-rickshaw puller, and his daily wage labourer wife Himadri Dash (35) are residents of Balangir town. On May 28, Dash’s wife gave birth to a baby boy at the district hospital. However, they allegedly sold the baby to a widow from Gariabandh district in Chhatisgarh on May 30.
After getting information about the incident, the district child welfare committee conducted an inquiry the next day and found the couple to be extremely poor but not covered under schemes for people living below the poverty line.
“Dash, an acute diabetic, is undergoing treatment in Balangir district hospital for the past two months,” child welfare committee chairperson Sanjay Mishra said on Tuesday adding that the disease had badly affected his right foot that might need amputation.
Couple's neighbours said that doctors had referred Dash to the state run VSS Medical College Hospital in Burla for further treatment, but the cash-strapped man could not go there. Later, the couple decided to sell their new-born to meet the medical expenses, they added.
However, the baby's father refuted the claims saying that they did not sell the child but gave him away to a woman relative from Chhatisgarh.
Dash’s wife said the family had virtually no source of income as her husband had stopped pulling rickshaw for the past few months.
“We had urged the local administration for monetary help after he fell ill, but to no avail. If I am compelled to beg money from people to buy medicines, then how could we have fed the little child?” she said.
Balangir additional district magistrate Aswini Nayak told HT that the administration had taken up the issue seriously.
“The officials have been directed to probe the matter and locate the child. The administration has also sanctioned Rs 8000 for Dash's treatment.” Nayak said.