Rashmi Rekha Das

Struck by extreme poverty, a woman allegedly sold her six-day-old son in Odisha’s Cuttack district. Hailing from Panchasaranga Balarampur village under Nischintakoili block in Cuttack district, Pratima Panda took the step on Friday. 

According to sources, Partima recently gave birth to a baby boy at Nischintakoili Community Health Centre. She was not in a condition to take care of her newborn baby due to her poor financial condition.

Her abject poverty might have forced her to sell her baby boy, said sources.

After the District Child Protection Helpline received a complaint in this regard, the Child Development Project Officer and its team rushed to Panchasaranga Balarampur village to probe the matter. The CDPO’s team also raided the house where Pratima was staying in rent. 

Rubbishing the allegations brought against her, Pratima said she gave her newborn to one of her relatives due to poverty. 

Pratima said, “I have not sold my child. As I have already three children, I gave my newborn boy to a relative who resides at Paradip on my own will.”

Ratnabati Mishra, an Anganwadi worker, said, “I got a complaint that Pratima sold her child. At my request, the CDPO team has come to find out the truth. But Pratima termed the allegation levelled against her as baseless saying she has given her newborn boy to her brother-in-law.”

Sabitri Sahu, Supervisor, CDPO said, “We got to know from the Child Helpline that she sold her baby. So, we have come for investigation. However, the accused told us that she has given the baby to one of her relatives. The newborn is six-day-old. Selling baby is against law. We have asked her to take back the baby from the relative because the newborn needs breastfeeding and it's important for survival.”