Foster Hindu parents bring up Farzana in Islamic tradition #Sundayreading


The Hindu , By J. S. Ifthekhar

Farzana with Madhu and Laxmi Reddy.

Farzana with Madhu and Laxmi Reddy.
When they marry off their daughter Farzana on Sunday, Madhava Reddy and Lakshmi Reddy will have set a new benchmark for secularism. The couple raised Farzana, who lost her parents, from the age of four as their own child and according to Islamic traditions

Take heart. All is not lost yet. There are still people around who stand by values, pluralism and tolerance. While most cry hoarse about religious co-existence, here is a family that lives by it. Madhava Reddy and his wife Lakshmi Reddy are perhaps the best hope for humanity.

When they marry off their daughter Farzana on Sunday, they will have set a new benchmark for secularism. If you do a double-take, you must be an outsider. For the people of Gouraipally, a sleepy village 7 km from Yadgirigutta in Nalgonda district, it is nothing unusual.

They have seen Reddy and his wife raising Farzana right from the age of four as their own child. The girl, who lost her parents at an early age, could not have asked for better foster parents. When none of her relatives came forward to adopt her, Madhava Reddy took her in his care.

The Reddy couple, who have two sons, took an instant liking for Farzana.

They not merely showered love and affection on her but brought her up according to Islamic traditions. Apart from giving her modern education, they ensured that Farzana was not deprived of Islamic teachings.

“We never forced our religion on her but allowed the girl to perform ‘namaz’, read the Quran and observe fast during Ramzan,” says Madhava Reddy, who retired from the Electricity Board.

No wonder, as 22-year-old Farzana prepares for a new phase of life on Sunday, she is sad to part with her parents.

“I will miss mummy and daddy a lot,” she says in a choked voice.

A bright student, Farzana passed 10th Class and Intermediate in first division. Later, she did nursing course in Hyderabad and got a job at Yashoda Hospital, Malakpet.

Qazi Akhter of Yadgirigutta is expected to perform Farzana’s ‘nikah’ with a Nalgonda boy, Mohd. Rasheed, on Sunday. Ghiasuddin Babukhan, chairman, Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust, who supported Farzana’s education, is lending a helping hand in her marriage, too.

Reddy’s two sons, who are working in the U.S., are fond of Farzana and keep in touch with her. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself is the golden principle of the family. Sure, an ounce of practice is worth tonnes of preaching.

 

7 Bangladeshi juveniles are languishing in Indian Home, even after completion of their terms


28th November 2012

 

To

The Hon’ble Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Faridkot House

Copernicus Marg

New Delhi – 1

 

Hon’ble Sir,

 

We write to draw your attention to the situation that seven minor boys (details are furnished in the list herein below) areillegally detained in ‘Anandashram’ Home, an observation home for children in conflict with law in Berhampore, West Bengal. They were arrested long back and framed under penal charges.

 

Information has been received that enquiry against them has already been completed under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000. But till date they have been detained in the home in violation of sections 38 and 39 of the Act.  

 

Section 38 & 39 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 states that—-

 

Section 38- Transfer. – (1) If during the inquiry it is found that the child hails from the place outside the jurisdiction of the Committee, the Committee shall order the transfer of the child to the competent authority having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the child.

(2) Such juvenile or the child shall be escorted by the staff of the home in which he is lodged originally.

(3) The State Government may make rules to provide for the travelling allowance to be paid to the child.

 

Section 39- Restoration. – (1) Restoration of and protection to a child shall be the prime objective of any children’s home or the shelter home.

(2) The children’s home or a shelter home, as the case may be, shall take such steps as are considered necessary for the restoration of and protection to a child deprived of his family environment temporarily or permanently where such child is under the care and protection of a children’s home or a shelter home, as the case may be.

(3) The Committee shall have the powers to restore any child in need of care and protection to his parent, guardian, fit person or fit institution, as the case may be, and give them suitable directions.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section “restoration of child” means restoration to-

(a) parents;

(b) adopted parents;

(c) foster parents.—-

 

 

The children are eligible for immediate release and should be repatriated back to Bangladesh at the earliest in co-ordination with the respective High Commission.

 

We request you to look into this matter and take immediate steps towards his release in coordination with the government of India and initiate the process of repatriation so that the child can go back to his country without delay.

It has been months now that the children are still in the observation home and we fear that he will face indefinite stay if urgent action towards his release and repatriation is not taken.

 

We urge you to take the following action at the earliest:

  • Coordinate with Ministry of External Affairs & Ministry of Home Affairs,  Government of India; Government of West Bengal and Juvenile Justice Board, Berhampore, Murshidabad, West Bengal to take immediate steps towards release and restoration of the children
  • Provide consular services and a lawyer for the children in case the children have no legal representation.
  • Initiate action towards repatriation of the children so that the children can be sent back to the home country as soon as the child is released.
  • Ensure safety and rehabilitation of the children post release and post repatriation in lieu of the difficult time spent in a custodial setting in an observation home for months now.
  • We also urge that proper and effective steps should be taken from now on so that no child arrested  either by police or Border Security Force under the Foreigners’ Act’ is detained in custody and they must immediately be sent to their homes.  

 

We hope that you would share our concern for the children towards their safety and well-being in order to avoid any circumstance that leads to injustice.


Kindly acknowledge receipt of this letter.

 

Thanking You

Yours truly,

 

 

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

          Name and details

Name & Father’s name Address Age Date of arrest Case reference Sections charged
Jamil Hossain, s/o Mr. Ajahar Ali village – Bhabanipur, Post Office- Dubal Hati, Police Station and District- Nowgaon, Bangladesh 16 years 20.11.10 Habibpur Police Station Caseno.188/10, dated 20.11.12 U/S 14 (a) (b) of Foreigner’s Act
Helal Ali, s/o Mr. Asraful Ali village +Post Office- Char Alatuli, Sarkarpara, District- Chapai Nawabgunj, Bangladesh 13 years 25.05.11 Lalgola Police Station Case no. 242/11 dated 25/05/2011 U/S 14(a) and (b) Foreigner’s Act
Selim Sekh, s/o Mr. Sadek Sekh Village -Tarapur P.O. Sahapur Police Station-
Shibgunj, Dist-Chapai Nawabgunj, Bangladesh
17 years 20.08.11 Baishnabnagar P.S. Case no-206/11
dated 20/08/2011
U/S 14 (a) and (b) Foreigner’s Act
Abdul Jabbar, s/o  Mr. Rabiul Islam Village- Bhuglaori Pakhiyapara, P.O.Babupur Police Station- Shingong District-  Chapai Nawabgunj, Bangladesh 17 years 27.08.11 Baishnabnagar PS  Case no 215/11 dated 27/08/2011 U/S 279/411 of
Indian Penal Code and 14 (a) & (b) Foreigner’s Act
Anarul Islam, s/o Mr. Safiqul Islam Village Sahapara ,Police Station- Shibgunj, District Chapai Nawabgunj, Bangladesh

 

 

 

16 years 24.08.11 Baishnabnagar P.S. Case
no.210/11 dated 24/08/2011
U/S 14 (a) and (b) Foreigner’s Act
Borjahan Ali, s/o Md. Islam Ali village Nomo Jaganathpur P.O – Hasanpur,  P.S- Shibgunj Dist-Chapai Nawabgunj, Bangladesh 17 years 07.09.11 Baishnabnagar
PS Case no. 233/11 dated 7/9/2011
U/S 14 (a) and (b) Foreigner’s Act
Abubakkar Siddique, s/o Late Arsad Ali Village Thutapara, P.O- Sahapur,P.S- Shibgunj, Dist –  Chapai Nawabgunj, Bangladesh 17 years 02.01.12 Baishnabnagar PS Case no.  4/12 dated 02.01.12 U/S 447/332/353/34of Indian Penal Code, 3 of The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and 14 (a), (b) and (c) Foreigner’s Act

 


Kirity Roy
Secretary
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
(MASUM)
&
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Balaji Place
Shibtala
Srirampur
Hooghly
PIN- 712203
Tele-Fax – +91-33-26220843
Phone- +91-33-26220844 / 0845
e. mail : kirityroy@gmail.com
Web: www.masum.org.in

 

The Confiscation of the Bhattacharya Children by Norwegian Authorities – A Case Study


The gist of the Norwegian case against the mother was that the children feared and rejected her and were emotionally disconnected from her. This is belied, among other things, by the following home video that Sagarika has now uploaded on You Tube. Do have a look – it speaks for itself.

This report surveys the care proceedings faced by the Bhattacharyas in Norway as a case study in the thinking and practices of child welfare regimes in the developed West.The Bhattacharya case was no exception. Social service agencies with the power to separate children from their families and place them in permanent care as a measure of protecting children from parents considered to be unfit exist in many first world countries. These include the countries of Western Europe, the United States and Britain. If the confiscation of children by these agencies is not justified, then we have in the nations that support such action a situation of grave inhumanity.

The permanent separation of children from their families has severe consequences for both parents and children. Parents are deprived of their children; their state of being as mothers or fathers permanently imprisoned by the State‟s confiscation of their children. As for the children, their extraction from their families and re-location as subjects of public care in institutions or foster homes; or being put up for adoption constitutes a radical and complete re-writing of their childhood and of their identity into adulthood by the State.
The care proceedings in this study are revealing of how, despite the drastic and far reaching nature of this form of State intervention, the issuance and review of care orders is almost entirely free of the usual checks and balances against the misuse of coercive State powers. The actions of social services bureaucrats and the decisions of courts operating in these child welfare regimes are largely hidden from public view by confidentiality laws. Moreover, neither the collection nor the assessment of the evidence on which parents are found to be unfit is subjected to the level of scrutiny of even a regular civil suit, let alone a criminal trial.
In the Bhattacharya case, even if the evidence on the record is taken at face value, it does not substantiate the determinations of unfit parenting and breakdown of the relationship between parent and child. Much of the so-called evidence describes normal interactions between the mother and the elder child, such as might be witnessed between any mother and her toddler.
The result is a denial of procedural and substantive justice for parents and children.
Another aspect of the care proceedings that gives rise to concern is the low threshold for the confiscation of children from families. There was no allegation of sexual abuse, child battery or abandonment in the Bhattacharya case. There was no allegation of any criminal act having been carried out against the children. The facts as alleged in the case did not justify the grave and life altering step of permanent confiscation of the children from their parents.
The case record also reveals that there was little attempt to help the family stay together by enabling the parents to overcome their perceived deficiencies. Parenting flaws and mistakes, such as they were, appear to have been identified only to provide the excuse to remove the children. So for all that the system claims to exist for the welfare of children, the children of families caught in care proceedings are given no real chance of staying with their families.
The decisions about the Bhattacharya parents and children in the care proceedings are also revealing of the distorted understanding of the child and family that underlies intervention by permanent separation of children from families perceived to be dysfunctional. In the Bhattacharya case, the home environment and parenting practices were found to be faulty on a number of fronts. The parents were assessed to be incapable of improving. And based on these determinations the conclusion in the logic of the Norwegian child welfare system was that the children should be placed in permanent care.

The response of the care system at each stage in the proceedings to the Bhattacharyas‟ pleas to be given a chance to be re-united with their children, of being allowed visitation with their children, of their offers for improving the perceived deficiencies in their care of the children,of the prospects of the siblings in the case being placed in separate homes and being brought up in a Norwegian rather than in an Indian family, reveal the extent to which the Norwegian approach to child welfare devalues heritage and family ties. There is a pervasive disavowal of filial love in the assessment of parental performance and the well-being of children. The question of what constitutes a good childhood is reduced to a laundry list of care criteria. Not only does filial love find no place in this approach, many of the care criteria are deeply rooted in Western culture. As a result, these child welfare regimes are inherently biased against families from foreign cultures.

Download full report below

Case Study Final

Immediate Release- Norwegian child confiscation case


CHILD WELFARE COMMITTEE, BURDWAN

163, BELHATI ROAD, DHALDIGHIPAR, BURDWAN-713101

PRESS RELEASE

8 November 2012
The Child Welfare Committee of Burdwan (CWC) has today passed interim
orders for release of the siblings Abhigyan Bhattacharya (4 yrs) and
Aishwarya Bhattacharya (23 months) from foster care and restoration to
their mother, Smt. Sagarika Chakraborty.

With the help of a panel of experts, we have evaluated the children,
their condition in the foster home and the capability of their mother
to care for them. We have found the mother to be fit to take care of
the children and their foster carer to have failed in his duties
towards the children.

The care of Abhigyan and Aishwarya is governed by Indian law by virtue
of their residence in India and the agreement under which the children
were given in foster care to their paternal uncle. Under Indian law,
foster care is a temporary measure with the aim of restoration of
foster children to their parents wherever possible. Notwithstanding
any agreements or court orders as to foster care, the Child Welfare
Committee is duty bound to change the foster carer or restore foster
children to a parent if continuation in foster care is no longer
necessary or beneficial for them. Foster children have a right to the
love and care of their parents, if the parents are able to raise them.
In this case, the father does not reside in India and the children are
being restored to the mother as the parent present in India.

The Norwegian orders under which the children were released to foster
care of their 26-year-old bachelor uncle do not justify an absolute or
permanent separation of the children from either of their parents. Our
findings as to the fitness of the mother and her interaction with the
children at visitations arranged by us establish a reasonable basis
for giving an opportunity to the children to be re-united with their
mother. We are keeping the case open for further review once the
children re-commence life with their mother.
We were unable to take charge of the children today for handover to
their mother owing to unavailability of police assistance to control
an unruly mob that had gathered around the foster home. We have
ordered police to ensure law and order so that the children can be
peacefully handed over at the earliest.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW

Why did they take my children away

 

India-No law to protect child adopted within family


 

Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times
Bhopal, October 02, 2012

Six-year-old Shivani was raped and beaten to death by her paternal uncle and aunt, who were acting as her foster parents, in Indore. The father of the child, resident of a village in Uttar Pradesh, had handed over the child to Rajesh Sengar and Bebi four months ago. The child was physically and  sexually abused  all through her stay with her uncle and aunt and finally succumbed to her injuries.

September 16: A 12-year-old girl complained to her neighbours in Bagh Sewania (Bhopal) that her maternal uncle, with whom she and her three siblings were staying for last several months, tortured them and made them work like servants. Their father is in jail for murdering their mother. The police, Child Line and State Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (SCPCR) intervened and finally handed over the three kids to their grandmother and paternal uncle.

August 2012: Neighbours in Koh-e-Fiza (Bhopal) called up Child Line to complain that two girls – aged 11 and 6 – were being regularly abused by their relatives to whom they had been handed over a few months ago. These kids were also treated like servants. The father of the kids had remarried after their mother died. Child Line and district Children’s Welfare Committee (CWC) intervened and handed over the children to their parents, despite lot of resistance from the “adopting” family.

These incidents do not only horrify, but also bring to light a dangerous legal loophole. There is practically no law or regulation that guides intra-family adoption – children who move from their biological parents to foster parents within the same wider family.

While there are strict procedures and rules in place for legal adoption of orphans or abandoned children, there is nothing to stop people from merely handing over their kids to friends or relatives apparently to ensure better care. Recent incidents suggest that these children are more often than not subjected to acute physical, mental and even sexual abuse by their relatives-turned-foster parents.

“There is nothing really in the law to stop people from doing this or to monitor the condition of such kids once they are handed over. The only way is to create massive awareness among people to spot and report any child abuse in their neighbourhood,” said state representative of National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR) and Bhopal Child Line in-charge Archana Sahay.

She, however, said that in case there is a complaint about children being “informally” handed over, both the families that give away and receive the child could be booked. Sahay adds that a considerable number of cases of abuse by informal adoptive families have been reported in the recent past. “This indicates a very scary trend. People may be looking at adopting children of poor relatives as they find difficult to get full-time servants. And if the child is a girl, then the chances of sexual abuse increases,” she said.

Amita Jain, who heads the Bhopal-based adoption agency Matrichhaya, also expressed concern about such informal adoption process and stressed on the need of alertness on the part of neighbours to detect and report any such cases of abuse.

Even in cases of formal legal adoptions, post-adoption monitoring has been a weak area. This was revealed by Alok Sharma, the deputy director of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) and in-charge of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in MP.

Sharma conceded that post-adoption monitoring in case of even legal adoption is a neglected area. “There is of course nothing that we could do about informal adoption within families or friends,” he says. As for monitoring in case of formal adoption, the department is now thinking of involving the district ICPS officers in the process, said Sharma.

Who’s Watching?
The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) monitors the process with support of the state-level agencies.

Once the legal process is completed and child is given for adoption, the adoptive families are expected to give quarterly reports about progress and well-being of the child to the adoption agencies as well as the court for three years.

The agencies are expected to submit half-yearly reports to CARA or a state agency for two years after adoption.

Adoption agencies have to often pressure adoptive families to give the report. Also in cases where the child goes for adoption out of the city or state, it becomes difficult to monitor, says Amita Jain of Matrichhaya.

The state government is thinking of starting external monitoring through the district ICPS officers.