KOLKATA: An unprecedented case in Bishnupur town of Bankura district in West Bengal, one of the most backward districts in the country, has created a furore and made the authorities and child rights activists demand strong punishment for a woman who was last week accused by her grandchild of forcing her into begging and assault.
Tumpa (name changed) has alleged that her grandmother and relatives used to thrash her and make her beg.
“Every day during the school lunch, I was forced to beg. She used to thrash me whenever I could not bring her money.” The 10-year-old, who studies at a school in Bishnupur town, has also alleged that her siblings were treated similarly. The woman is on the run.
The Class V student had lost her parents and used to live with her grandmother who works for roadside eateries. “I will never return to that home. My grandmother and others beat me. They want me to stop going to school, and loiter around temples and the bus stand to earn alms,” she said.
“We have rescued her and lodged a complaint against her grandmother. Since she refused to return to her maternal uncle’s home, we are shifting her to a children’s home in Bankura town,” said Sajal Sil, a child rights activist. “We are helping her get admission in another school.”
Bankura district police chief Neelkanth Sudhir Kumar said, “After the matter came to light, an FIR was registered and a case lodged immediately. It’s being investigated with the help of an NGO and the child welfare committee. The grandmother has been absconding. She doesn’t have a mobilephone, but we are trying to locate her.”