Denies charges of asking the couple for English translation of proof

Responding to the reports ‘Now, a Norway in Chennai' and ‘They run from pillar to post to get back their children' that appeared in The Hindu dated January 28, 2012, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has said that the police had taken custody of the child, Lakshmi, when she was found begging on Marina beach.

The CWC has said its enquiry revealed that the family came to Chennai and was living here for more than two years, but the child had never been to school. “There are several children denied of their rights and neglected, especially the children of migrant labourers,” the CWC said in its response.

But, Santoshi, who was waiting on the CWC premises on Friday, told The Hindu that the family had come to Chennai only one-and-a-half months ago, and were taking up construction work around Poonamallee High Road. Santoshi said she was standing right beside her daughter who was buying sweets at a stall near the Marina on Pongal Day, when three police officials came and took Lakshmi away.

Denying that it had asked Santoshi and Gabbar, the couple from Chhattisgarh, to get their ration card in Hindi translated to English as proof, the CWC has said in its response that it is taking the help of volunteers and its resource centre in translation. However, Gabbar had told The Hindu that the CWC wanted the ration card in English, and that he tried asking in several shops, “even big ones,” if they could translate it, but didn't succeed.

Lakshmi was sent with her parents on Friday evening, the CWC has said.