Norway kids arrive in India, father says son's condition worse
The two children of Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya have arrived in India, but their father says that the long months in foster care have worsened his sons condition.
After a legal battle that lasted for months, the two Indian toddlers caught up in a custody battle in Norway finally arrived in India today.
The two children were separated from their parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya by the Norwegian Child Welfare Services (CWS) in May last year, but were handed into the custody of their paternal uncle Arunabhas Bhattacharya yesterday. They arrived at the Delhi airport at around 10.00am IST.
The two children, three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya, were brought out of the airport by the children's grandparents and foster parents in Norway.
"The foster father of the boy in Norway came with him and the girl was carried out by her grandmother," Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur told reporters outside the Delhi airport.
The foster parents of three-year-old will leave the child in India and leave shortly, he said.Speaking after his children arrived in India, Anurup Bhattacharya told CNN IBN he hoped they would be restored to their family, culture and language from which they have been distanced from for the year they were in foster care.
"We have to restart our life for the development of the children," he said, adding that he was not allowed to visit them presently. He is still in Norway and said he met them for a little over an hour before they left for India.
Despite being 'happy' and 'relieved' at the imminent return of his children , Bhattacharya told The Hindu that the long months of foster care had worsened his sons mental condition in some aspects.
“I notice that Abhigyan's head banging has worsened. He has become even more stubborn and adamant than before. Yes, he does make eye contact now. But he has also started hitting his little sister, something he never did before,” he told the newspaper.
He added that placing the children away from their natural parents (even if there was marital discord in the family) had not proved useful at all, adding that placing both the children in alien foster environments had actually worsened the boy's condition.
Abhigyan is said to be suffering from Attachment Disorder, which is a broad term intended to describe disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships arising from a failure to form normal attachments to primary care giving figures in early childhood, resulting in problematic social expectations and behaviors.
Anurup also appealed for privacy saying, "Abhigyan has serious problems and we would not like anything to upset the fragile equilibrium he has been fighting to achieve".
The children's mother and their grandparents, both paternal and maternal, are in India and had launched a protest campaign seeking that the children be handed over to their paternal uncle. The mother of the children, Sagarika, is in India presently.
The battle for the custody of the two children has taken many twists and turns with the Indian government getting involved in ensuring that the children were returned to their parents. A special envoy had negotiated on behalf of the parents for their custody of the children. However, a physical argument between the parents had delayed the custody being transferred to their paternal uncle.
What is Barnevernet, Norway’s controversial Child Welfare Services in spotlight after Bollywood film?
The Rani Mukerji starrer Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway is based on the story of an Indian woman who fought the Norway government for the custody of her children. Other immigrant families have also accused the institution of taking away their children without proper justification
'My Rani shines...' Shah Rukh Khan showers praise on Rani Mukerji's Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway
Rani Mukerji starrer Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway released on 17 March 2023.
Box-Office: Which film will score between Rani Mukerji's Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway and Kapil Sharma's Zwigato this week?
One film is based on a shocking real-life incident and the other tells the story of the not-so-surprising hurdles of a lower middle- class man. It's a battle of battles this Friday in cinemas.