“My grandmother hit me with a stick and poked me with a stone,” says two-year-old J. Haripriya whose body has many bruises.
She has been undergoing torture in the form of beating, pinching, poking, branding, biting and abusing from infancy.
Haripriya has been at the receiving end of her maternal grandmother Meenakshi's wrath for the superstitious belief that her birth had led to the separation of her daughter and son-in-law. Haripriya's five-year-old sister J. Varsha has been spared though.
Daughters of estranged parents Jeyachandran and J. Chitra, the siblings were rescued by ChildLine on Thursday afternoon on receiving a call from concerned neighbours.
Residents of Ambedkar Nagar Housing Unit at Kavundapalayam say Jeyachandran and Chitra separated after the birth of Haripriya.
A frustrated Meenakshi has since then been torturing the child blaming her for her parents' estrangement.
ChildLine had once before rescued the children on being alerted by neighbours. But, at the insistence of a repentant Chitra, the children were sent back.
According to co-ordinator of ChildLine S. Uma, a letter written by the area people has pleaded with them to take custody of the children.
They claim that the mother and daughter together torture the children.
“We are planning to file a First Information Report and then hand over the children to the Child Welfare Committee. Though the elder child is not harmed she is happy to stay here and is not too keen to go back home,” says Ms. Uma.
In the meanwhile, the neighbours have driven away the mother and daughter from their house.