Authorities at the NGO in Bihar’s Nalanda, where three-year-old Saraswati stayed before she was adopted by a US-based couple more than a year ago, recall that the girl was not stubborn and drank her morning milk with the other children without any fuss.
The Washington Post reported on October 14 that Sherin Mathews — Saraswati’s name after her adoption on June 23, 2016 — had gone missing from her home in Richardson, Texas. According to the report, Sherin’s father Wesley Mathews told police he’d sent his daughter — in her pajamas at 3 am on Oct. 7 — to stand alone beneath a tree across an alley from their home as “punishment for refusing to drink milk”. When her father went to the spot after sometime, the girl was not there, the report stated, adding that search is on for the missing child.
Babita Kumari, secretary of Mother Teresa Anant Seva Sansthan, the now-defunct NGO where Saraswati lived, said Wesley and his wife Sini have their roots in Kerala. “Saraswati was less than two-years-old when she was adopted. Though the couple could have adopted a child from anywhere in India, they showed preference for Bihar. Saraswati lived with us for about a year after she was rescued from Gaya where she was probably abandoned by her parents,” she said.
Asked if Saraswati was stubborn in refusing to drink milk, Babita Kumari said: “As a small NGO, we could provide milk to only 50-odd children in the morning. After all children would line up, we would offer them milk and they drank it without any fuss. Saraswati would also eat whatever was given to her. We are shocked to learn that she has gone missing”.
Babita said that the US-based couple adopted Saraswati as they wanted a sibling for their daughter, a year older than Saraswati. “We will pray that the girl is recovered soon”, said Babita.