Eleven –month-old Avanthika is playing in a three-room tiled-roof house at this village adjacent to a primary school. Her foster mother, Ms. Pochamma, is the happiest person as she just got her daughter back after a fight of more than eighty days.
The hamlet village of Pullutla is located about 50 kilometres from the district headquarters.
All this began on January 16, two days after the birth of Avanthika. Keshya, father of Avanthika, is a resident of a nearby tanda and she is his sixth child, fifth female child. Already struggling to survive, he felt it was burdensome for him to bring her up. Donti Venkata Laxmaiah, a resident of Lingojiguda and friend of Keshya, does not have children though he was married almost a decade back. He, along with his wife Ms. Pochamma, was looking to adopt a child and hold discussions with Keshaya, who accepted the adoption of his last child. The girl was handed over to the family and no one knew about it.
However, the issue came to light when an employee of the Women and Child Welfare department brought this to the notice officials on July 31 and the girl was immediately given to Sishugruha at Sangareddy stating that the adoption was illegal. From then on the fight by Ms. Pochamma began. . Leaving the house, Pochamma stayed at Sishugruha to take care of her daughter. Her gut feeling from the beginning was that she can get her daughter back legally. To make her dream a reality, she met Women and Child Welfare Minister V. Sunitha Lakshma Reddy several times along with her husband.
“My heart always cried for Mummy (Avanthika’s nickname). Both of us cannot live without each other. Many a time I was worried whether or not I could get her back. Sometimes the officials said that it was not possible to hand her over. I had prayed to God to come to my rescue,” Ms. Pochamma told ‘The Hindu’, sharing her feelings and struggle.