Staff Correspondent

Marriage is scheduled for Monday, following a month-long efforts of CWC

MANGALORE: Justice has finally prevailed with Sangeetha (name changed), an unwed mother of a one-month-old girl baby, scheduled to marry Shiva (name changed) here on Monday. The latter initially denied that he was the father of the child. But, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), in its one-month-long negotiation, managed to convince Mr. Shiva on the marriage. Mr. Shiva is said to have agreed on Friday to marry Ms. Sangeetha in a temple here on Monday. He had been produced at the CWC court by the Pandeshwar police personnel on Thursday, following Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao’s instructions to do so.

Ms. Sangeetha, resident of Kaukrady, was employed in a beauty parlour in Ujire. She met Mr. Shiva, a government employee, in April 2008, when the former had gone to Mangalore to buy some beautician’s equipment there. As their friendship turned to love in subsequent days, Ms. Sangeetha is said to have conceived during one of her many visits to Mangalore. Mr. Shiva also used to go over to Ujire to meet Ms. Sangeetha. Ms. Sangeetha’s parents disowned her after coming to know that she had become pregnant. After that, she had to live with her friend in Puttur till she was reunited with her family by an anganwadi worker in Puttur.

Ms. Sangeetha claimed that she had informed Mr. Shiva about her pregnancy in the third month itself. The latter had also promised to marry her and take care of the child. “But when I gave birth to a girl child on March 27, he went absconding,” she said and added that his cellphone was switched off and she had no other means of tracing him.

Ms. Sangeetha on April 6 produced the child to CWC, which traced him in a government department. On April 18, when CWC went to Pandeshwar Women’s Polce Station to register a complaint against Mr. Shiva, the police there refused to take the complaint as Ms. Sangeetha was from Kaukrady, which was not in their jurisdiction, said Geo D’Silva, a member of the CWC. “On April 20, we wrote to the Superintendent of Police to direct the police to take action,” he added.

The delay was extended by the general elections and frustrated Ms. Sangeetha, according to Roopa, in-charge of Prajna Counselling Centre where the former had been provided shelter. Ms. Roopa told The Hindu that on April 27 Ms. Sangeetha left her daughter in Mangalore and tried to join her parents at Kaukrady, hoping she would be accepted by them. But, it was not to be. “The CWC, acting on the information it got from sources, went to Ms. Sangeetha’s house the same evening only to find her in the cow-shed, as she had not been accepted by her parents,” Mr. D’Silva said. She was brought back to the Prajna centre the same day, he added.

Marriage

Mr. Shiva was caught by the police and produced to the CWC court on Thursday. He, on Friday, agreed to marry Ms. Sangeetha. Ms. Roopa told The Hindu that the wedding of the two had been fixed for Monday in a temple here. “Ms. Sangeetha’s parents have been convinced to attend the wedding,” she added.

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