Babies are a steal in steel city
Rourkela (Orissa): The adoption racket is now a nationwide phenomenon — from cities to remote villages there is big money to be made.
CNN-IBN's Special Investigation Team travelled to Rourkela, Orissa's steel city, to find out how the steel city has become a den for child trafficking.
Tribal children brought from in and around Sundergarh district are sold in the name of adoption at illegal adoption centres which have mushroomed in the city over the past few years.
What's even more shocking is the fact that the adoption agencies are run by highly placed government officials.
There are six adoption agencies in Rourkela and all of them are illegal.
CNN-IBN Special Investigation Team reporters posed as couples and approached one such fraudulent adoption centre called Global Village to adopt a girl child.
This is what Global Village employee, Arun Kumar Nayak, told CNN-IBN: "We will not create any problems for you and we will not overcharge you either."
CNN-IBN: "You will quote an affordable price? So the committee decides the price?"
Arun Kumar Nayak: "Yes the committee decides the price. In the last ten years we have given away 90 children. At that time the law on adoption was not this tough."
Nayak claimed the promoter of Global Village was K P Sethy, an IAS officer and the former secretary of Central Adoption Resource Agency.
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik has helped the agency in the past, Nayak claimed.
CNN-IBN: "Does Mr Sethy run only one orphanage?"
Arun Kumar Nayak: "Yes."
CNN-IBN: "So why does he stay in Delhi?"
Arun Kumar Nayak: "Actually he is a Government employee; that's why he stays in Delhi."
CNN-IBN: "He's in the service? Is he an IAS officer?"
Arun Kumar Nayak: "Yes he is. Sethyji is our advisor. He comes here from time to time and oversees everything. He knows the whole process."
Global Village claims to have rehabilitated more than 2,000 children till date.
Babies who are over a year old are kept at a Global Village branch at Biramitrapur, 40 km from Rourkela.
CNN-IBN: "How many children have gone for adoption from here?"
Biramitrapur caretaker, Asma Tirkey: "Not many. About five or six."
CNN-IBN: "How old is this orphanage?"
Asma Tirkey: "About 10 years old."
CNN-IBN: "How many children are here at this orphanage?"
Biramitrapur caretaker, Asma Tirkey: "Forty-three children."
Global Village virtually steals babies from their parents. Subanti Dandasena was duped into giving her baby for medical treatment. The three-month old boy was then sold to a wealthy couple.
CNN-IBN: "How much money did they sell your child for?"
Subanti Dandasena: "Rs 42,000."
Sahayog is another such illegal adoption centre run by a Delhi-based chartered accountant, Manjit Singh Pardesi. In the last two years Sahayog has sold 15 babies illegally.
Says the accountant at Sahayog, Simon Juju: “We take anything between Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 plus donation.”
The Government is aware of this thriving racket. "The organisations have to tell us if they are giving babies for adoption, but they hide it just because they want to sell the child and make money," says Member secretary, State adoption coordinating agency, Bijoyani Das.
Illegal adoption agencies are flourishing in remote areas of Orissa. Nobody knows from where they get babies or where these children go.
These agencies are not registered, but neither the state nor the Central Government is bothered.
(With inputs from VK Shashikumar and Parul Malik in New Delhi)