Ten-month-old Ashvid’s first visit to India has triggered celebrations in his family, especially after US authorities separated him from his parents Ashish and Vidisha Pareek for seven months over alleged abuse.
“I cannot express my feelings in words. After all that happened in the last seven months, I am extremely grateful to everyone who helped us,” Vidisha said, adding Ashish would join them after completing paper work in the US.
Ashvid was born on October 21 last year in New Jersey, where Ashish had been sent by his company. When he fell accidentally and suffered head injuries on December 23, US authorities separated him from his parents and imposed Shaken Baby Syndrome on them.
Shaken Baby Syndrome refers to child abuse resulting in head injuries from severe shaking or throwing the baby.
Ashish had then sought help from external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and also appealed to chief minister Vasundhara Raje, the Prime Minister’s Office and governor Kalyan Singh.
After a month, a US court gave the custody of the child to an Indian family living in New Jersey.
On July 25, the court allowed Ashvid to live with his parents, but under the supervision of his grandparents.
“The Jaipur police was very prompt in submitting the verification certificates of my parents which helped them to get visa quickly,” Vidisha said, expressing her gratitude to the police.
“We were finally given a clean chit by an US court on August 25,” she said, adding that special homemakers employed by the child development department in the US were stationed at their home for monitoring the child 24 hours.
“For 15-20 days, they would stay with us and continuously monitor our behaviour to see that nothing untoward happened. Only after being convinced that there’s nothing wrong with us, they submitted a positive report in the court which was instrumental in getting us a clean chit,” she said.
“Everyone from the government really helped us. I want to especially thank the Indian community in New Jersey who supported us throughout the episode. The American foster parents were also very cooperative,” she said.