Monday, February 14, 2005

Baby talk!

What do you do when you lose your child? You go and register a complaint with the police to find it. What do you do when your child safe after a long search and yet the authorities concerned refuse to give it to you just because they are not convinced that you are his parents?
This is exactly the dilemma that was faced by the Sri Lankan couple who lost everything in the deadly tsunami and were a bit consoled to find at least their child safe and alive after a long search. But to their horror, they were stopped by the hospital and other authorities from claiming the child just because these "authorities" were not convinced about their parenthood.
The Baby 81 issue which invited a lot of media attention amid the horror stories of tsunami is a queer one. Admitted to the hospital by a good samaritan who found the baby floating on a wooden log after 3 or 4 days of tsunami, the boy baby was admitted to the hospital and was given the tag baby 81 as it was the 81st patient to have been brought in.
But when its parents came to claim the child after a long search,the authorities dragged them to court and even forced them to undergo a DNA test to prove their parenthood. Though finally, the baby has been united with his parents, the queer behaviour on the part of the authorities does evoke some kind of despise and irritation.
Its good that they wanted to reunite the child with its "original" parents,but since there was no dispute about the ownership of the child, the hype around this matter is surely surprising one. Among millions of orphaned people, the baby atleast had someone to stake claim and obviously they weren't doing it for any other monetary purpose as they had about a handful of relatives to vouch for them.
But all this overprecaution to "safeguard" the child, if it may be called so, has it been taken in the case of other children. Amidst the tusnami reports, there are other horror stories about orphaned children being kidnapped to West Asia and other Arab countries for household work. Are enough steps being taken to prevent such heinous acts?
Instead of making a big hue and cry about handing over a child to its rightful parents, it would be better if these "responsible" authorities focus their attention on other orphaned children who have no one to care for and no way to go.


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