Afraid of social stigma, an unwed mother allegedly sold off her one-day-old son to a couple of Angargadia in Balasore town on Saturday. The matter came to light on Sunday when the couple went to a polio booth to give the vaccination.
Sources said the unwed mother of Naupalgadi under Chandipur police limits had delivered the baby near a canal, a few yards from the ITI square here at about 6 am. She was spotted by one Parvati Tudu while throwing the baby to the canal.
Tudu said when she told the woman to give the baby to her, she agreed. Later, the baby was handed over to Raban Hansda (35) and his wife Bali Hansda (22) who had three daughters and no son.
The couple said they had paid ` 260 to the woman in exchange of the baby who has been named Binod.
While the locals claimed that social stigma and poverty compelled the woman to sell off the baby, sources said the man, who had established physical relationship with her on the pretext of marrying her, ditched her when she got pregnant.
Her mother and brother also drove her out of their house.
The villagers, who had virtually boycotted the woman after they came to know about the matter, were shocked to know that she had ‘sold’ the infant. However, the Hansda couple is happy to have the baby.
In the polio vaccination card, Raban and Bali have been mentioned as parents of Binod.
Though initially they hesitated to admit that they had bought the baby, later, they confessed to have given the money. They also organised customary rituals for the baby and promised to raise him even if they were poor.
Raban, a rickshaw puller said the baby had brought a transformation in him. “Earlier, I used to take ‘handia’, a local brew, regularly. But since Saturday I have promised not to have the alcoholic drink. It could happen only because of the child. I would take care of him like a responsible father,” he said.