Indian couple sells newborn baby for £480 to raise money for husband’s medical treatment

Harswaroop Singh, a daily wage labourer from a village in Bareilly in northern India, was badly injured after he fell from a height at a construction site around October 2017 and broke his spinal cord. He has been bedridden since then.

He was the sole breadwinner for his nine-member family including his two sons and ailing parents. Bedridden for three months, he had to take loans from villagers to survive and later sold his tiny house for £750 to repay the loans.

His wife gave birth to their 3rd son, Ankit, on December 14 and the couple became afraid they would be unable to cope with the additional cost of feeding, hence they decided to sell their baby to a childless couple for £480.

But the news soon spread across the village and after the police and officials intervened in the matter, the infant was recovered and reunited with his parents.

Narrating his ordeal, 25 year old Harswaroop said: ‘I was the only breadwinner for the family. My father is asthmatic and mother has been keeping ill for a long time. My younger brother could not get work after his fingers were snapped in an accident.

‘On October 9 last year, I accidentally fell from height at a construction site and broke the spinal cord. I have been bedridden ever since.

‘I had no money to afford the expensive medical treatment so I mortgaged the house. While the loan did come as temporary respite, our resources were drying up.

‘Then my third son was born in December. My wife and I were worried of taking care of him. We decided to give him to a childless couple not only because we will get money in return but he get better life. I am happy that the administration has brought our son back, but I cannot return Rs 42,000 to the couple.

Harswaroop has also been admitted to a local government-run hospital where officials have promised to pay for medical expenses.

Kunwar Pankaj, sub-divisonal magistrate said: ‘We have returned the baby to his family. The family is extremely poor. We have opened a bank account for the family and have deposited Rs 15,000 in it. After hearing their story, several social organisations have also volunteered to donate.

‘We have also sent him to the district hospital and the doctors will provide him the needful treatment.

Mother Sanju is delighted with getting her son back but says her primary concern is her husband’s treatment so he could recover and work again to run the family.

Sanju said: ‘It was the most difficult decision of my life but I had no other option. I was worried for my husband. There was no pressure on me. Selling the baby was a mutual decision.

‘We have no money and was not giving any help from the government as we did not have the required “below poverty line” cards. I am extremely thankful to the administration for bringing back our child and now helping us with my father’s treatment.’

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