“We thought that god will bless us with a baby boy. But, again my daughter-in-law gave birth to a female baby for the third time. So we decided to sell the baby,” said the grandmother Jarapala Chittemma.
J. Ravi and Rupa got married five years ago and the couple had two daughters – Hima Bindu (4) and Kanaka Durga (2) -- and on July 18, Rupa gave birth to another female baby at a private hospital.
“On knowing that we had a third daughter, I got depressed. In the meantime, an ayah offered to take the baby. We readily accepted and she gave us ₹10,000,” Ms. Rupa said.
“On seeing us returning home without the baby, Ravi had an altercation with us. He had an argument on the second day for selling the infant. We explained the situation to the ayah and asked her to return the baby,” Ms. Chittemma told the Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW) department officers, who visited their home.
‘Not a rarity’
Assistant Project Director (APD) M. Prameela Rani said many such cases were seen in Lambada tribal families and stressed the need to conduct awareness drives on girl child protection.
“Our staff observed ill-treatment towards girl child and sale of babies in thandas (tribal hamlets) in Mylavaram, Chatrai, Gampalagudem and other mandals in Krishna district. We will plan awareness programmes in the thandas,” the APD said. When enquired by Gannavaram Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) P. Venkata Lakshmi on Tuesday, it was learnt that the ayah stopped working in the hospital soon after the incident and went absconding.
Another mediator, Ajmeera Srinu alias Bodaki, who took the baby the second time, was also at large.
“The bond paper which was given to the biological parents (for entering into sale agreement of the infant) was purchased in March this year from a document writer at the Stamps and Registration Office at Kanumolu village in the district, which is raising many doubts,” said District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) Ch. Vijay Kumar.
“We visited Rupa’s house on Tuesday and found that the baby is safe. The WD&CW and the anganwadi staff have asked the neighbours to keep a vigil on the familyand to inform offiicials if they noticed a stranger,” the DCPO said.