Love wins: Inter-religious couple take back custody of child born out of wedlock
The couple, who requested HT not to take pictures citing the sensitivity around their decision, plan to get married next monthUpdated: Jan 23, 2020 15:08 IST
PUNE In an unusually inspiring incident of breaking social barriers an inter-religious unwed couple who had surrendered their love child to the Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospitals (Sofosh) 35 days ago, took back the custody of the baby boy on Wednesday.
The couple, who requested HT not to take pictures citing the sensitivity around their decision, plan to get married next month.
The 28-year-old man works with a multinational company (MNC), while his partner works with a private company in the city.
The man said, “We are happy today to get back our baby after facing a lot of opposition from our family members and society. Our love story is straight out of a film script. We both belong to different religions and work in different companies. When our baby boy was born 35 days back we decided to admit him to Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospitals (Sofosh), as our families were not willing to accept our relationship. We wanted our baby to be in safe hands.”
“After several rounds of counselling, some of our family members have agreed to support us. We are yet to convince other members of our family. We plan to get married in the next month,” said the man.
“Despite all odds and opposition, our decision is firm we both want our baby to stay with us. My partner has been a strong support system for me throughout this entire process,” he said.
“I would like to tell youth that, if they decide to stay in a relationship out of wedlock, they should be able to support their partner whatever the consequences. And if a child is involved, they should be careful, as they must not abandon the child due to fear and criticism, and risk the baby’s life,” he added.
Sharmila Sayed, administration in-charge, Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospitals (Sofosh), said, “Today’s (Wednesday’s) incident is an inspiration for youth who wish to stay in a relationship out of wedlock. Due to societal and family pressure, couples abandon their child and they are left on roadsides and dustbins. If the couple takes the responsibility of the baby, they won’t have to stay as orphans with NGOs.”
“Through counselling sessions with Sofosh the couple gained confidence and they have convinced their family members and taken back the custody of their child. Such incidents are always encouraging and inspiring for us,” said Sayed.
Sofosh is currently looking after 43 abandoned children between the ages of birth to six-years-old.
In the year 1964, on the initiation of the Medical Social Workers of the Sassoon General Hospitals (SGH), a group of public-spirited and citizens of Pune came together to form a voluntary charitable trust. It was aptly named the Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospitals, or Sofosh, as it aimed to supplement the medical services provided by the hospital through a range of humanitarian services for crisis-affected patients and their families and to support the hospital itself by providing much needed facilitates.