Odisha parents unable to pay hospital bill: Sells off new born for Rs 7500

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Kendrapara/Odisha, August 5: A newborn girl was allegedly sold off by her parents for Rs. 7,500 due to lack of money to settle the hospital bill. The new born infant was sold off to a childless couple in Kendrapara district of Odisha. Anyhow, the infant’s father accused the nursing home of influencing him to sell the child.

According to Nirakar Moharana, the infant’s father lodged a FIR stating that the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers of his village were involved in taking them to a private nursing home. The private nursing home suggested the infant’s parents sell the baby in order to settle the hospital bills. However, the nursing home denied commenting.

Nirakar Moharana and his wife Gitanjali, the residents of Righagada village under Rajnagar tehsil, went to the district headquarters hospital on July 30 at Kendrapara for the delivery of their third child. The ASHA workers accompanied them to the hospital and later persuaded them to shift to the nursing home for better facilities. The infant’s father Nirakar Moharana stated in the FIR that, on August 1, his wife delivered the baby. He added that “I thought that the treatment would be free of cost at the private nursing home as it is in a government hospital. But, I was told to clear the bill of Rs 7,500. At that time, I had less than Rs 1,000 in my hand. The hospital authorities said they would not let us go unless the bill is paid. As no other option left, I decided to sell off the baby despite my wife’s reluctance.”

They sold the newborn to a couple through an arrangement by the nursing home, says the FIR. ” The ASHA workers mislead us by taking us to the private nursing home. This incident deeply hurt my soul. I went to the police so those who are involved in the child-sale racket are arrested”, said infant’s father. According to the Kendrapara police station Inspector Bijoy Kumar Bishi, the case was registered under IPC Section 372 (selling minors unlawful and minor purpose) and provisions of the Juvenile Act.

“The identity of the couple who bought the child still remains unidentified. Our main objective is to rescue the child after which penal action would be initiated against the culprits,” Bijoy Kumar Bishi added.