They are anxiously awaiting Norway court decision

  When the children of expatriate couple, Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya, were taken away from them in May last year by Norway authorities, the family had been looking forward to a long vacation to India. The trip was to have been significant as, apart from being a long haul in the country for both children, the Annaprasan (a ceremony where a baby is fed its first morsel of solid food) of baby Aishwarya was also supposed to have been held. Anxiously awaiting the decision of the Stavanger District Court over the custody of the children, the family, which is hopeful that they will be returned, is mulling their future in India.

 Apart from the ceremonies — one-year-old Aishwarya's Annaprasan and three-year-old Abhigyan's Hathe-khori (the ritual of introducing the alphabet to a child) are both pending — other practical concerns about their nutrition and development plague their mother Sagarika.

 “Aishwarya should have been introduced to solid food by now, but she does not eat yet. Abhigyan is now three years and four months old, but he has lost his language skills. They will have to be built up again. Someone will have to take a lot of care to ensure that they achieve the same milestones in growth that children in India manage at their age,” Sagarika told The Hindu over telephone from Stavanger. She was concerned that her son would find it difficult to cope in a kindergarten in India where most children of his age would have already begun to speak.“How could they take away a baby that is being breast-fed, without even informing us? They took our children away and left us with a bunch of papers,” Sagarika said speaking about the time when officials of the Norwegian Child Welfare Service took the children into their custody on grounds that they were receiving inadequate care. The last time she had travelled to India was just before she gave birth to Abhigyan and had returned to Norway in December 2009.  

More In: National | News