February 24, 2009 4:59:41 pm
In a heart-rending incident,a young poverty-stricken single mother in Andhra Pradesh sold her newborn son to a childless couple for Rs 6,000 so that she could pay her medical bill in a government hospital.
“My financial position is really bad,” a distraught looking Rajitha (20) who could not afford the Rs 2,000 hospital fee said from her bed at the Government area hospital in Kothagudem in Khammam district.
She delivered the baby by Caesarean section last week and the infant changed hands within 24 hours.
Police said they would take action against the hospital which also faces an inquiry whether its doctors took any money as bribe from the woman.
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“Buying and selling a baby is an offence,so we will be booking cases,” Kothagudem revenue division officer P Rajaram said.
According to reports,a rickshaw driver friend gave the single mother Rs 6,000 for the baby,which he planned to bring up with his wife. The couple have no children.
The incident occurred in the parliamentary constituency of Union Minister of State for Women and Child development Renuka Chowdhury.
“At least,she is safe and at least the child is not dead and not killed. I think they are the most important things that we need to look at,” Chowdhury said.
The woman told the police who interrogated her that her husband had abandoned her and she had no means to support herself and a baby.
“We are also inquiring into the fact whether the doctor had asked for money (from the woman),” he added.
Welfare officials reportedly want the baby to be reunited with his mother so she can breastfeed him. They said the mother and child would then be shifted to a state-run facility where Rajitha can decide if she wants to put the baby up for adoption.
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