The ‘child selling’ racket unearthed in heart of the city raised eyebrows of the Police personnel and officials of Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW) departments.
The accused father, N. Appa Rao, a petty vendor and a rickshaw puller, was addicted to ganja and alcohol and used to create nuisance on the pavement everyday. The incident highlights the rampant sale of ganja and other sedatives on the busy roads in Governorpet, Hanumanpet and Railway Station areas.
The rickshaw puller, who had kept the infant for sale, was quarrelling with his wife Adi Lakshmi for the past 20 days over the issue. On information, the WD&CW Department staff informed the Suryaraopet Police, who bound over Appa Rao and are observing the presence of the baby boy with the parents. “After receiving information over the proposal to sell the baby, we kept a vigil on the family to prevent sale of the infant. But, Appa Rao handed over the baby on September 16, after taking Rs.40,000 from Sai Babu, who had no children. We decided to hand over the remaining two children by producing them before Child Welfare Committee (CWC) as there was no security with their father,” said WD&CW Krishna District Project Director K. Krishna Kumari. “There is a threat to the complainant, Adi Lakshmi, as her husband may take revenge if granted bail. We will provide shelter to Adi Lakshmi also as it is not correct to separate the children from the biological parents,” said the Project Director. Staff of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), were instructed to enquire into the allegation of selling another boy. “We will enquire whether Appa Rao sold children of any other couples earlier,” said District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) Ch. Vijay Kumar. The WD&CW, ICPS, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), NGOs and other representatives urged the government to convene a meeting with police, revenue and Juvenile Welfare Board authorities to create awareness among people about child rights.