BHUBANESWAR: Struggling in the throes of the pandemic that has snatched every means of his survival, a hapless homeless man, staying on the streets of the State Capital, allegedly sold his six-day-old baby boy for Rs 10,000 on Friday so that he could feed his wife and two other children.
The newborn was rescued by a team formed by Bhubaneswar Childline with the assistance of Kharavela Nagar police from a woman in Mali Sahi locality of the city on Saturday. The Childline was asked to act on the matter by the district child protection officer (DCPO).
“After receiving information, our priority was to rescue the newborn safely as we were apprehensive that the woman who had bought him could put his life at risk in order to save herself,” said Childline director, Benudhar Senapati.
Initial investigation into the matter by Childline suggests the newborn’s father was staying with his family on the road near railway station here. The man reportedly sold the child to overcome the hardships. The woman who had bought the child was taken to Kharavela Nagar police station later in the day for questioning. The woman said that the newborn’s mother told her that the father of the child was threatening to dump him in a drain as he was unable to look after other members of the family.
“I met her near Station Square recently and saw her child crying. She told me that her husband was threatening to throw away their child. As I and my husband do not have a child, I requested her to give her newborn to us for which she demanded money,” said the woman.
The Childline’s officials produced the newborn before additional Child Welfare Committee here and he was then sent to an adoption centre Subhadra Mahatab Seva Sadan in the city. He also demanded the police to ascertain if the child’s father is a drug addict and had sold him for money to buy contraband. “The woman who purchased the child is a native of West Bengal and she has been detained. The father of the child is a nomad and a search operation has been launched to nab him,” said an officer of Kharavela Nagar police station.