KENDRAPARA: IN yet another poverty-driven child sale case in Odisha, a poor couple was forced to sell off their newborn girl as they were unable to foot the bill of a private hospital at Kendrapara where the baby was born. Nirakar Moharana (34) and his wife Gitarani Moharana (30) had gone to district headquarters hospital here on Monday for delivery of their third child. They were advised by the doctors and the village ASHA worker Anapurna Moharana to go to a private hospital as there were some complicacies in the pregnancy. Gitanjali delivered a girl child in the private nursing home on Thursday.
After the delivery, the hospital asked the couple, belonging to Righagada village under Rajnagar block of the district, to pay `7,500. Due to acute poverty, they expressed their inability to arrange the money. Instead, they agreed to sell the newborn daughter to a childless couple in exchange of `12,000. When the couple told the villagers about the incident, they were advised to approach the police. Nirankar and Gitarani filed an FIR against the nursing home and the person who purchased the newborn girl at Kendrapara Town police station on Friday. “After the FIR was filed, we have registered a case under Section 372 (sale of minor child for unlawful and immoral purpose) and 81, Juvenile Justice Act. Further investigation is going on,” said Kendrapara SP Dayanidhi Gochayat.
When contacted, ASHA worker Anapurna said, “The couple has two daughters. After the birth of their third daughter, they decided to abandon the child in the nursing home. But I resisted it. Later, a childless couple took the newborn by paying some money.” The incident has cast doubt over implementation of Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), a safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM). It aims at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women. Under the JSY, a pregnant woman is entitled to delivery, Caesarean section, medicines and dietary supplements at any health institution free of cost.