In this episode of Makkala Nyaya Makkala Rakshanae, RJ Manjula speaks with Nagasimha from the Child Rights Trust. He speaks about important words and related norms mentioned in the JJ Act 2015.
‘Abandoned child’ means a child deserted by their biological or adoptive parents or guardians, who has been declared as abandoned by a committee after due inquiry.
It has been debated a lot as to why parents would abandon a child and the reasons witnessed so far vary – pregnancy before marriage, social norms, birth of a girl child, below poverty level finances, children born with disabilities are a few common reasons. The main focus should be, how do we stop this, and how do we take care of such children? Nagasimha describes the step-by-step process to follow when anyone notices an abandoned child. The first thing to do is to call 1098 or 100. Child Helpine 1098 members are mandated to visit the reported spot and take the child into their custody. They must make sure that the child has taken a bath and doesn’t have any medical requirements.
Next, the team is supposed to present the child in front of a child welfare committee. There are different organisations which work at railway stations, bus stations and many other public places to help in such cases. Nagasimha mentions that parents should think hard before abandoning a child, and not throw them in a dustbin or any other dangerous spots. If they are forced by circumstances, then they can always leave them at orphanages, so that at least the babies are safely taken care of.
As per Childline records for 2017-2018, 150 children are reported to have been abandoned.
Nagasimha mentions a few examples of the emotional toll on abandoned children when they come to know that they have been abandoned. A few get angry, and if they are male, then they may start drinking; some girls have gone in search of their parents and ended up somewhere else. There are chances of them losing respect towards society. One example stated is of an adopted child who went in search of her biological parents and on not finding them, became an alcoholic, tragically dying later.
He also shares some positive stories of abandoned children, like the children who grew up at the Sparsha Trust and other organisations who have gone on to become engineers, study for the IAS, working to become painters, and more.
Society also should think positively about children and stop looking down on parents and children who end up in such situations.
This radio episode is followed by a real-life drama based on an abandoned child’s story.
Listen in for more…