Anupama fought on to reclaim child despite odds stacked against her

Anupama S Chandran
Anupama S Chandran, the 23-year-old mother who recently accused her parents of forcefully taking away her newborn, staging a protest in front of the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. Photo: Manoj Chemancheri

Thiruvananthapuram: A relentless fight for almost three months by a 23-year-old mother to get back the custody for her baby boy has become almost fruitful after the results of the DNA test proved that she is his biological mother.

Anupama S Chandran, a former SFI leader and daughter of a local CPM leader in Thiruvananthapuram, had fought head-on with all those who are powerful. She pursued her struggle to reclaim her child by challenging her politically connected father, insensitive administrators of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW) and the Child Welfare Council (CWC) as well as the CPM leaders who backed their political cronies sitting at these statutory organisations.

Anupama even questioned the CPM leadership for supporting the wrong-doings of those at the helm of CWC and the KSCCW, following which she had to face a massive social media attack from the cyber comrades. But undeterred by all these tough situations, she fought back by asserting her right as a mother.

Anupma's open and bold fight exposed the irregularities and illegalities committed by a powerful and conservative lobby working in close association with the ruling class, which had no qualms in snatching away a child from his mother.

The incident demonstrated the lack of transparency existing at the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW), which are supposed to conduct adoptions in a legal manner. Those who are running the affairs at the two organisations could not even come up with a satisfactory explanation on the allegations raised against the institutions.

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

What had provoked Anupama's parents to snatch away her child and give the baby in adoption was the fact that she gave birth to a child before marriage and her partner was a married man. Anupama's parents could not digest the fact that her daughter is bearing the child of Ajith Kumar, a 35-year-old Dalit Christian.

The allegation is that even the clout of the CPM has been used by her parents to manipulate things at the KSCCW. Moreover, the CWC, which is supposed to facilitate legal adoptions, did not act legally in this case. Unfortunately, the State Government is still protecting the political appointees who are heading these organisations.

Anupama and her partner Ajith have been knocking on doors to help them trace their baby taken away by her parents and given for adoption three days after his birth in October last year. They intensified the search for their child after Ajith, who divorced her wife, started living with Anupama. They started pleading their case initially at CPM forums since both of them, and their families, were party associates.

The officials ignored their pleas allegedly under pressure from parents of Anupma. It seemed clear that the officials ignored procedures and due process and took a conservative view in support of Anupama's parents.

Though the Family Court cancelled the adoption procedures, no steps were taken by the authorities to bring back the child from Andhra Pradesh or conduct a DNA test on the child. Then, Anupama and Ajith began indefinite agitation before the office of the KSCCW. The solidarity forum formed under the leadership of social activist P E Usha came in support of Anupama.

Only after the agitation by Anupama caught up the public attention again, the CWC finally issued an order on November 15 to bring back the child from the custody of foster parents in Andhra Pradesh and conduct DNA tests on the baby. The DNA tests have proved that Anupama and Ajith are biological parents of the child.

The KSCCW is expected to and over the child to Anupama in a couple of days.

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