With son 'Aiden' on her side, Anupama to carry on fight till guilty is punished

Anupama and Ajith with baby.
Anupama S Chandran and Ajith comes out of a family court complex holding her baby in her arms after the court ruled in her favour in the baby adoption case. Photo: Manorama/Manoj Chemancheri

Finally, former SFI leader Anupama Chandran has got back his son after months of precious wait and intense fight with the authoritative and conservative government set-up. She had to resort to street-level protests many times to get custody of her child. To perpetuate the significance of the fight that she has carried out, Anupama has decided to name the boy "Aiden", meaning "little fire". The name was given as it was her wish from the time of pregnancy. The message of the ardours fight she had waged to win back "Aiden" has gone up like a wildfire in the society, especially among women, who have been facing such hardships and isolation for various reasons. It also exposed those in the statutory government agencies who gave the leadership for taking away the child illegally from her. The smoke has not settled yet as Anupama plans to take on the fight till those guilty in the case are punished. She opens up to Manorama on the whole gamut of the adoption row.

Baby has returned but Anupama's story has still not had a happy ending
Ajith and Anupama, the biological parents of the child, share happiness of knowing a positive DNA test result. Photo: Manorama/R S Gopan

Have you ever thought that you could see your son, who was given in adoption to a couple in another State, in such a quick time span?
Actually, the government action was not quick, but slow. The process of adoption itself could have been avoided if the complaint which we had given to the chief minister, the police, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW) were taken seriously. We also gave a memorandum to the top CPM leaders. We tried to get the child back without making any fuss. But since ours was a CPM family, everyone in the party gave importance to my parents' views. Nobody tried to understand my emotions. At one point of time, I became scared whether I would lose my child forever. With no other option around, we sought the help of the media. We also had to approach the court. The court ordered the cancellation of the adoption proceedings and asked for the CWC to submit a report on November 1. But the CWC ordered for taking back the child from the custody of foster parents and putting him for DNA test, only after 15 days. The clarification given was that the file from the office of KSCCW General Secretary Shiju Khan arrived late. Had the file from the office of the KSCCW at Thycaud travelled on its own, it could have reached the office of the CWC situated at Poojappura well ahead of time. Why had there been so much delay in handing over such an important file. The CWC could have asked the KSCCW for sending the file on priority. All of them wanted to delay the court proceeding so as to wreak vengeance on us. Why had they shown this much cruelty to the child and his parents?.

Are you going to end the agitation now that you have got custody of the child?
Our main aim was to get the child back. But now that we have realised the unscrupulous methods adopted by the authorities to deny us custody of our biological child, the question remains whether we should allow them to go scot-free or not. The answer is no. In future, no mother should face such a situation. That is why we took to the agitation path. A decision on the mode of agitation to be continued would be decided later.

The Child Welfare Department is currently inquiring about the adoption case. The Minister has also made it clear that action will be taken if any irregularity is found. How do you respond?
We don't have faith in departmental inquiry. At the hearing conducted by the Child Welfare Department (CWD) Director, the agenda was to find fault with the steps which we had taken. The special interest was shown at the hearing to find out whether we had committed any mistake or not. There was no concern about the illegal actions resorted to by the officials with regard to the complaints raised by us. The CWD also sided with the erring officials for tampering with evidence so as to hush-up the foul play regarding illegal trafficking of my child to Andhra Pradesh. Attempt is on to save the guilty officials of the CWC at any cost. Though we had gone many times to the office of the KSCCW in search of the boy, the details of our visits were not entered in the office records there. The CWC Chairperson and the KSCCW general secretary are continuing in office even after we had raised clear cut allegations against them. Those who have committed such grave offences continue to hold on to the key posts in these organisations. Those who were accused of guilt are taking follow-up action in my complaint. The government is not ready to order an inquiry by keeping them away from these posts. It would have been ideal had they been brought back to these posts once they came clean on these charges.

Have you been taken aback by the vicious attack being launched against you on social media? Most of the allegations were aimed at your partner Ajith.
Usually, I don't go through all such posts. At first, we felt sad and angry. Most of such reactions happened due to the comrade syndrome that always comes out when the party and the government are in trouble. This is quite natural. We knew this because we were also part of the CPM. The allegation that Ajith "chettan" has three wives and three children are all baseless. We just laugh at such reports.

Ajith and Anupama
Ajith and Anupama reach Nirmala Shishu Bhavan at Palayam to meet their child. Photo: Manorama

There is also a general feeling that the couple from Andhra Pradesh, who looked after the boy for a month, had a bad experience. Is it true?
It is also my responsibility that they should get justice. They looked after my child very well for a month. We want to maintain a good relationship with them even after getting the child. The cyber attacks painted me as someone who did wrong to them. I did not do any injustice to them. Those who headed the statutory bodies had done injustice to them. They should take corrective steps.

The KSCCW General Secretary said that attempt was to paint the organisation in a bad light. What do you think?
Shiju Khan spoke only about the adoption license issue. What is his explanation on the KSCCW illegally receiving the child, then registering the boy as a girl and hurriedly giving him for adoption by ignoring our complaints. Shiju Khan had nothing to say about these things. He was responsible. With the party's connivance, many wrongs have been committed. The CWC was also hand in glove with them. It was during last April that we made a video call to the CWC chairperson and raised the complaint that the child is missing . It was an 18-minute call. Even after receiving such a video call, they could have directed the police to investigate the complaint. But instead, they hurriedly took steps to give the child up for adoption.

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