Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Khallikote, Oct 13:
A daily wage labourer working in Odisha’s Khallikote has allegedly sold off his one-year-old daughter for mere Rs 3,300 to meet treatment expenses of his ailing wife.
The incident has been reported from Bhejiput ITI colony under Khallikote police station limits.
Shakti Routray (40), a daily wage worker hailing from Barchana in Chandikhole, had shifted to Khallikote in search of work. He was residing with his family here since last two years.
Since last few months, his wife—Laxmi—wasn’t keeping well and was admitted to a private hospital in Berhampur few days ago. The treatment expenses were billed at Rs 3, 300 after which he found it a herculean task to foot the bills.
He approached one of his friends at Kaliabali near Chhatrapur seeking financial help. However, he reportedly sold off the child to his friend for money to pay the bills.
As per reports, the couple along with their two daughters—Santoshi (4) and Manasi (1)—had left for Berhampur for treatment. However, they had to face a series of queries from neighbours when they found a member short in their company. The neighbours got suspicious after the couple returned from hospital without Manasi.
On being grilled continuously, the couple admitted to have sold off their daughter for Rs 3,300 to a person. Shakti claimed that he would get back his daughter after repaying the money at the earliest.
The woes of the family are far from over as the house owner has asked them to vacate the house after the incident was out in the open. The landlord asked the tenants to vacate the house fearing action against them as it is a case of alleged child sale.
Meanwhile, the couple along with their minor girl has been wandering from here and there in search of shelter and are being forced to sleep under the sky.