Couple sell new born baby girl to settle hospital bill

Source: The Hindu

A poor couple (inequitable wealth distribution – GS3 (financial inclusion), who previously had two daughters, sold off their newborn baby girl in order to settle delivery expenses at a private nursing home in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

The shocking incident came to light on Friday (in Kendrapara, Odisha) when the father of the girl lodged a complaint with the police alleging that he was tricked into handing over the baby.

Ignorant of the procedure for getting the expectant mother admitted into the government-run hospital, the couple fell into a trap set by an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker (lack of integrity of ASHA – GS4(ethics). ASHA workers are entrusted with the task of ensuring institutional delivery in rural areas.

The ASHA worker in question diverted them to a private nursing home saying the process in government hospital was cumbersome (poor public service delivery – GS2 (governance). On August 1, Gitanjali delivered a girl under normal child delivery process.

The hospital bill came around Rs. 7,500. Sensing that the bill was hefty for the couple and lack of excitement in the parents about the arrival of another daughter (patriarchal mindset – GS1 (society), a nursing home employee and the ASHA worker put forth a proposal before them to sell the baby and buyers would foot the bill on their behalf.

“The child had been sold in mutual agreement. We have, however, registered a case under Indian Penal Code section 372 (selling of minor child for unlawful and immoral purpose) and under Section 81 of Juvenile Justice Act. Preliminary investigations say that the ASHA worker mediated in the deal,” said Bijay Kumar Bisi, Inspector-in-Charge of Kendrapara Police Station.

Other couple

Mr. Bisi said the childless parents, who had bought the girl, have been identified, but they had absconded after the matter came to the fore.

According to the police, the parents, who did not want to have another girl child as they already had two girls, would have kept mum, had fellow villagers not castigated them for selling the child to a couple belonging to the minority community.

The above case study can be cited in Ethics paper (GS4).


Note for freshers: While reading newspapers always keep syllabus with you. Try to relate the article you are reading to UPSC syllabus topic. With regular practice you would memorize the syllabus (extremely important). Further practice would enable you relate events you witness to UPSC syllabus. This is especially important for Ethics paper wherein you are required to dwell upon YOUR personal experiences.


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