Culture and People / My POV

#ShameNorway Saga Ends: Indian Kids finally return home after a year in #Norway Agency’s custody

#ShameNorway : End of the #Nightmare of Indian kids in #Norway

Latest update on the #ShameNorway saga

  • Family celebrates as the children return home from Norway
Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1), the NRI kids who saw a long battle in Norway over their custody, finally returned to India on Tuesday.  The two arrived at New Delhi’s IGI Airport this morning and were received by their maternal grandparents.
  • Norway to hand over Indian children in custody row (30 March 2012)

A child welfare agency in Norway has said it will hand over two Indian children taken into foster care 10 months ago to their uncle.

The Child Welfare Service (CWS) said a Stavanger District Court would make the final decision on 17 April.

Last week, the agency said the children would not be handed over because of reports of “marital problems” between the parents.

Local social services say the parents failed to look after their children.

The parents, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, deny this. The couple say “cultural differences” led to the situation, and that the authorities had taken exception to them sleeping with the children and feeding them by hand.

“The CWS now recommends that the uncle takes over care of the two Indian children in the child welfare case and a Stavanger District Court will make the final decision on 17 April,” the agency’s communication adviser Thomas Bore Olsen said in a statement on Thursday evening.

If the court decided that the children should be removed from the care of the public authorities, “the agreement can be implemented as soon as practicable. The uncle will then take over the care of the children and take them back to India”, he said.

Public anger

Earlier this month, the chief welfare agency had said that custody of the children should be awarded to their uncle.

But following media reports of “conflicts” in the family, the Norwegian authorities put off the court hearing scheduled for 23 March.

Indian diplomats who were to go to Norway to monitor the court case also put off their trip.

Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwariya Bhattacharya were put in foster care by the Stavanger CWS last May, because they felt the children were at risk.

The case has received extensive media attention in India and provoked public anger. Earlier this year the government decided to intervene and try to bring the children back to India.

This became a diplomatic issue between the two countries, with India saying the children should be allowed to live in their own cultural and linguistic environment.

Norway has cancelled a court hearing to decide whether the children should be handed over to their paternal uncle, a dentist who lives in Kolkata and is presently in Stavenger. The parents and uncle are now reported to have drawn up a fresh agreement for the possible hand over of the children. But CWS is not likely to reach an early decision soon.

1. Was removal of the children, including a breast-fed baby, justified even if one of the parents had psychological issues? Would not treatment, counselling or a similar remedial step have been a more judicious course of action? Many mothers suffer from postpartum depression, for instance. Should their babies be taken away from them?

2. Assuming there was marital discord, what prevented one of the parents from assuming guardianship? Surely there are enough successful single parents in India and Norway who are bringing up stable children.

3. It is now being said that the elder child, a three-year-old boy, had started showing ‘characteristics of autism’. In that case, Child Protection Services (CPS) should have organised medical, social and psychological support to the struggling family. How does taking the child away from his parents and placing him in foster care help?

4. Taking away the children until they turn 18 is extreme under any circumstances. If CPS was so concerned about their welfare they could have taken the children into temporary care and provided the family with support until things improved.

5. Much of the confusion could have been avoided had CPS been more transparent in providing reasons for removing the children. Even now, CPS has not bothered to provide a reason and Gunnar Toresen, its head, has only said that the children ‘needed more’ than they were getting.

6. Criticism of CPS’ motives, including its lack of cultural sensitivity, remain valid. An English welfare worker investigating the case lists various ‘faults’ including the fact that the father spent too much time commuting to and from work because he did not have a car.

7. Interestingly, CPS lost the first round of court hearings when a local court ruled that there was no situation that warranted placing the children in an emergency shelter and they could continue living at home. CPS then appealed against that decision and won in a subsequent round of court hearings.

8. CPS faces the severest criticism from Norwegian citizens themselves. CPS “in order to have work, want children and they attack anybody who is vulnerable,” says Marianne Haslev Skanland, a professor emeritus in Bergen, Norway on her website. She talks of the child protection ‘industry’ where foster ‘parents’ are paid handsomely to look after the children placed in their care. According to Norway’s Statistics Bureau, last year ‘placement services’ were provided to 12,492 children, an inordinately high number for a country with a population of five million. Between 2004 and 2009, 19 of 1,000 children placed in foster care were the children of immigrants.

9. Despite the ugliness of the Bhattacharya family brawl and a family spat that is a personal matter, the children remain Indian citizens. Nothing has changed that. What then is the obligation of the Indian government to ensure that its citizens return home?

10. The Norway kids case has been marked by high emotion and drama ever since the story broke in India three months ago. Then, the story was marked by ear-splitting nationalism. Now, tinged with embarrassment, both government and media seem to have washed its hands off on the grounds that this is a personal, family problem. We’ve let the pendulum swing to the other extreme.

Few months back, the word Norway meant natural beauty of fjords…

But today, it brings to mind the dark side of Norway, so clearly visible for everyone to see.

Laws being followed by Norway would be called “kidnapping” in India

A Google search on “Norway Indian Children” will give you  7,000,000 results (in 0.39 seconds). Sample this…

6 hours ago – India sends an envoy to Norway to discuss the issue of the children of an Indian couple who were put into foster care by child services last May.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has summoned the Norwegian envoy in connection with the custody of the children of the NRI couple who have been‎ – 2 hours ago

New Delhi: The NRI couple fighting for the custody of their two youngchildren held in Norway on Tuesday thanked the Indian government for its effort and › News › National

28 minutes ago – With public anger and outrage riding high at the continued retention of two Indian toddlers by Norway’s powerful Child Protection Agency .

The Government of Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi appreciate theIndian Government’s close cooperation on the child welfare case involving › NRI

17 hours ago – India had said that it would make “all out” efforts to ensure early return of the two Indian children from Norway following attempts by authorities › India 

28 minutes ago – The Bhattacharya family’s battle to get the custody of their children inNorway seems to be getting longer. The family was hoping that India’s 

Family of the two Indian children lodged in a foster home in Norway on Tuesday met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, who assured them that the children

  • Using one excuse or another, the so-called Child Protection Agency “Barneverne” is trying it level best to keep 3 year old Abhigyan & 1 year old Aishwarya away from their parents.
  • Barneverne snatched the kids away from the parents, on ridiculous grounds in May 2011.
  • For the last nine months the kids & parents are separated.

Their Uncle, who had gone from India to Norway to take custody of them (since Barneverne in their wisdom have decided that real Parents are not capable of taking care of their children) says that three year old Abhigyan is traumatized by the experienced.

The scar of fear and loneliness that Barneverne has given  him would most probably stay with him for the rest of his life.

And the end of this #Nightmare in #Norway is still not in sight. This is what a Senior Indian journalist tweeted last night on this issue.

Kanchan Gupta ‏ @KanchanGupta

Norway is playing a nasty game. Each day CPS sets new terms to hand over 2 Indian kids in its illegal custody for more than a year now. 1/3

Kanchan Gupta ‏ @KanchanGupta

Norway misled India by promising ‘out of court’ settlement. It was meant to kill time. Visas of Indian couple expire in March. 2/3

Kanchan Gupta ‏ @KanchanGupta

Norway doesn’t seem to have any intention to free 2 Indian kids in its illegitimate custody. Let’s see what Spl Envoy can do something. 3/3

Why #Norway wants to be in the news for all the wrong reasons? #ShameNorway.

Don’t think the people of Norway wants this negativity to continue for long, that is why we need them to know whats happening and seek their support to end the misery of young kids & their parents.

All we can do is to issue a request to the people of #Norway, to look at the unspeakable highly immoral crime currently being conducted by the Government sponsored agencies. Join us in shaming these people who are bringing a bad name to your country.

Finally & Hopefully the #ShameNorway ends here and #Nightmare of Indian kids in #Norway is over


2 thoughts on “#ShameNorway Saga Ends: Indian Kids finally return home after a year in #Norway Agency’s custody

  1. Pingback: #Nightmare in #Norway : Indian kids in clutch of shady Norway Agency « For Whatever It's Worth…

  2. Usually doesn’t happens with Norway. But Norway should not be blamed for some others personal act. For the time being everything went smooth and the child finally return to it’s original custody. Hope the same don’t happen again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s