ANDHRA PRADESH

No light for her at the end of tunnel

Staff Reporter

KHAMMAM: A tribal woman, living in abject in poverty, put up her three- month-old daughter for sale in Yellandu town on Thursday. Some activists of the Progressive Organisation for Women (POW) prevailed upon her against taking the extreme step and extended monetary help. Local authorities, on learning of the incident, are trying to trace the woman in distress.

Deserted by husband, Battu Suheela, 28, had been finding it difficult to support her three daughters - Sangeeta (4), Akhila (2) and baby Shakeela--for quite some time. She had to take all the three children even to her place of work.

He employers refused to allow the children at work place and if anyone allowed her to spend a little time with them, he or she offered lesser wage.

Husband liquor addict

As she could not go to work for over a fortnight, the woman and her three children were virtually on the verge of starvation.

Her husband Tulasi disowned the family as she gave birth to a girl child Shakeel the third time. Addicted to liquor, he used to spend her earnings also on booze. All her efforts to reform him were in vain and finally he vanished from the house sowing hardly any concern for the kids.

The woman left her village - Battu Tanda in search of work and came to Yellandu town few days ago. Fearing that she would face the situation in the town, she made up her mind to get rid of the three-month old first.

She made a few contacts visiting people door-to-door with the baby. She went to the old bus station this morning to sell the baby for as little as Rs. 500.

Offer help

Some families had evinced interest in adopting the baby by giving her whatever money she wanted.

But they hesitated to enter into any deal with her being apprehensive of complications from the local officials and police.

POW district general secretary Aruna and a team of activists of the organisation took the woman to their office and enquired about the conditions that forced her to put the baby for sale.

Moved by her plight they assured her of all possible help and prevailed upon her to keep the baby.

They extended her Rs.1,000, which they pooled up immediately from local sources.