Taken away by US child care dept, one-yr-old to return home today

One-year-old Indrashish Saha, son of Debashish and Pamela, both residents of New Jersey in the US, who had been taken away by the Department of Youth and Family Services of that state for alleged negligence by his parents, is returning to Kolkata on Wednesday following an order by the New Jersey court for his release from foster care.

While his parents remain there, he is coming back along with his uncle, Bhaskar Saha, and is going to stay with his maternal grandmother, Pragoti Basak, at Malda for the next two months.

The child had been under foster care of the DYFS since September 13 last year and was handed over to his parents on Monday.

"No conditions had been imposed by the court. I am thankful to all concerned —the US court, Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, President of India, child rights activists of the US — all of whom did their best to end the trauma we suffered during the last five months," Debashish, an IT professional told The Indian Express from New Jersey.

In August last year, the child fell down from his bed and suffered injuries in his head. He was taken to a hospital where he underwent an operation.

The DYFS, having received information from the hospital, took the child away after levelling charges of negligence. While parents moved court, their relatives at Balurghat in North Dinajpur and Malda appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and other leaders to mount pressure on the US authorities.

According to Basabi Basu, rights activist based at Pennsylvania, the US, who fought for the quick release of the child from foster care, the court had advised the Child Welfare Committee of West Bengal to see to it that he was well taken care of.

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