Fellow Bengalis on alien soil help beleaguered parents

Nearly six months after being taken away by United States Child Protection Services after he was hospitalised in New Jersey with head injuries, one-and-half-year-old Indrashish, son of an Indian couple residing in the U.S., returned here on Wednesday.

The child’s uncle Bhaskar Kundu, who brought Indrashish home, handed him over to the boy’s maternal grandmother Progati Basak on arrival at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

“The child should not have been taken away by U.S. authorities. There were no lapses on the part of his parents in bringing up the child…We will keep him in the city for a few days and try to give him medical intervention,” Ms. Basak said. Indrashish will be taken to his grandparents’ home at Gangarampur in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district.

Earlier this month, a local court in New Jersey directed that the child be returned to Ms. Basak. While allowing repatriation of Indrashish, the court dismissed the case filed by the New Jersey Child Protection Services against his parents. The child fell from bed and suffered serious head injuries on August 9, 2012, within two weeks of his landing, along with his parents Debashish and Pamela Saha, at Parsippany township.

Nirmal Krishna Saha, paternal grandfather, said the repatriation would never have been possible had civil rights activists and the Bengali community in the U.S. not come forward to help the boy’s parents. Basabi Basu told The Hindu over telephone from Pennsylvania that she learnt about Indrashish being taken away from his parents through an-email circulated by members of the community. “Had we not intervened, the harassment of the parents by the U.S. authorities would have continued.” They would have even lost the child and Indrashish could have been put up for adoption, Ms. Basu said.