In Norway, how are kids told not to wet their pants? - The New Indian Express

In Norway, how are kids told not to wet their pants?

Published: 01st December 2012 09:43 AM

Last Updated: 01st December 2012 01:30 PM

The arrest of Indian couple V Chandrasekhar and Anupama in Oslo has left their family here in Hyderabad wondering how Norwegian children are told not to wet their pants.

Systems analyst Chandrasekhar and his wife Anupama were arrested by the police in Oslo upon a complaint lodged by their sevenyear- old son Sai Sriram’s school.

The boy had mentioned to his teacher that his parents had told him he would be sent back to India if he wet his pants in the school bus again.

“I’ve never heard anything like this. Is disciplining a child by his parents a crime?” asked Chandrasekhar’s brother-inlaw J Srinivas, also an IT pro.

“Only now have I learnt that we can’t even force a child to eat in Norway because it is a crime as per their law,’’ he said. This is the second instance of Indians finding that Norwegian laws take a dim view of tiger mom parenting ways that are the norm in India.

In May this year, another Indian couple, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, ran foul of the Norwegian Child Welfare Service which took custody of their children, Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (4), because they were being brought up in a state of “emotional disconnect”.

That case led to a diplomatic row between India and Norway and brought home to the Indian diaspora the wide gulf between Indian and Western parenting practices.

The case of Sai Sriram too seems headed in that direction with the Indian embassy in Oslo offering consular assistance to Chandrasekhar and Anupama, who were said to be in the process of filing an appeal through a lawyer.

The Indian Embassy in Oslo is in touch with the lawyer and the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed the state’s chief secretary Minnie Mathew to lobby the Centre to provide assistance to the couple.

On Friday, the couple’s family in Hyderabad revealed the back story to the arrests in Oslo. Sai Sriram was a student of class II at the Oslo International School and the pant-wetting episode took place several months ago.

His class teacher had recorded the incident in the school diary, upon seeing which Chandrasekhar and Anupama warned the boy that he would be sent back to India if he did that again.

Sri Sriram mentioned the admonishment to his teacher, who informed the school, which informed the Child Welfare Service, the same body that was at the centre of the earlier child custody row.

Its personnel rushed to the school and kept Sriram in their custody for one month. Sri Sriram was examined by doctors and given counselling and then handed back to his parents.

“We thought the issue was closed with that,” said Srinivas.

Last month, Chandrasekhar and Anupama were in Hyderabad along with their children, Sriram and Abhiram, for a vacation. During that visit, he received notices from a Norwegian court to appear before it on Nov. 26 and 27.

Chandrasekhar and Anupama flew to Olso leaving the children at his mother’s house at Jayaprakashnagar in Miyapur.

After the hearing on Nov.28, the Oslo court ordered the couple’s arrest.

For Anupama and Chandrasekhar, a native of Boddapadu village near Gudiwada in Krishna district, this has been a rude introduction to Norwegian law. They moved to the Scandinavian country only eight months ago.

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