Glimpse of hope for couple in Norway
TNN Jan 6, 2012, 04.30AM
KOLKATA: There's finally some light at the end of the tunnel for the couple who has been forced to stay away from their children in Norway. The Indian embassy in Oslo has taken up the matter and is trying to unite the parents with their children.
On May 11 last year, a Norwegian childcare agency had taken custody of the children after alleging the parents were not capable of taking care of the little ones.
P Balachandran, first secretary (political) of Indian embassy in Oslo, met Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya at their Stavanger residence to discuss the issue. The embassy also held talks with the childcare agency. The Indian diplomat is trying to withdraw the cases framed against the parents so that they can be reunited with their children.
Balachandran has reportedly assured the agency that the Indian government will make sure that the children are taken care of once they return to their parents.
The agency had taken custody of the two children - Avigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1) - and had placed them with two different foster-care families.
The couple had appealed for help to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in December. Mamata had taken up the matter with the foreign minister. Following the CM's initiative, the Indian embassy in Oslo had been asked to provide necessary support to the couple.
Anurup told TOI from Norway that the Indian diplomat had assured all possible support to get the children back. "He also spoke to the childcare agency and wanted to visit the children. But the agency has asked the diplomat to contact them next week. He might be allowed to visit the children now placed with two different families," he said.
Anurup added the agency placed certain conditions for returning the children. "They want documentary evidence to assure that the children can be brought up properly in India. We have to prove that we have the financial capability along with proof of sufficient resources to show that we can look after them till they turn 18. Moreover, we have to show them that there are enough parks and recreation facilities for the children in Kolkata."
The couple said they were ready to leave Norway once they got the custody of their children. "But the agency has plans to arrange the visa of the children and keep them in their custody till they turn 18, if in any case we say that we are unable to care them. My visa will be expiring in early March and if it is not extended, it could be difficult for me to apply for the visa of the children and get their custody," said Anurup.
The Norwegian agency has also proposed to place the children with some Indian families.
Sagarika, who is very depressed with the developments, broke down while speaking to ToI over phone. "When will I get my children back? They are so small. How can they stay away from their mother? It is a real torture on them in the name of childcare. Now, even my daughter cannot see her brother as they have been placed with two different families. My children can't follow Norwegian language and that is a major problem for them," she said.
the arrogance of the norwegian authorities is too much to bear. who the fuck do they think they are to ask if there are enough parks in india where the children can be raised? someone should tell those twats that children have been brough up in india for centuries without the need of western-designed parks 5 blocks away from every random house in the suburbs