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CHILD TRAFFIC IN INDIA, 2018

Mother Teresa charity shocked after babies ‘sold’




  • The pair were initially charged with human trafficking — punishable by up to five years in prison — but police said they could face more charges as investigations widen


NEW DELHI: An Indian charity founded by Mother Teresa expressed outrage and regret Friday after a nun and an employee were arrested for allegedly selling infants for adoption for potentially thousands of dollars. Police arrested the two suspects at one of the charity’s homes in Ranchi, the capital of eastern Jharkhand state, on Thursday following allegations that at least five infants were sold. “We are completely shocked by what has happened in our home in Ranchi. It should have never happened,” said the Missionaries of Charity organization, set up by the Catholic missionary nun in 1950. “It is against our moral convictions. We are carefully looking into the matter. We will take all the necessary precautions that this kind of incident never happens again,” a statement said. The scandal blew up earlier this week after the local child welfare authorities informed police about a newborn missing from the home, which is meant to care for unwed pregnant women and mothers in distress. After the arrests, 13 girls living in the home were shifted to another shelter, the Press Trust of India reported, adding that 22 children from a nearby shelter that was run by the same charity were also moved to a new accommodation on Friday. The staff said initially that the baby was taken by her unwed mother but then police found evidence that the two suspects sold the child to a couple from neighboring Uttar Pradesh state for nearly $1,700. The pair were initially charged with human trafficking — punishable by up to five years in prison — but police said they could face more charges as investigations widen. The hospitals where the children were delivered will also be investigated, police said. For many couples India’s legal adoptions process is cumbersome and some resort to illegal methods, including by paying bribes to charities or hospitals. Born in Skopje, now the capital of Macedonia, Mother Teresa, canonized as a saint after her death in 1997, became a global symbol of compassion but she was also a controversial and divisive figure. She remained fervently opposed to birth control and abortion, describing the latter as “direct murder by the mother herself” in her speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was buried in Kolkata in eastern India where she lived most of her life and where the Missionaries of Charity is headquartered. It has dozens of homes and care centers in India and across the globe.


Jharkhand: Missionaries of Charity staff member and nun arrested for allegedly selling a baby


Jharkhand Police arrested a nun and an employee of a Ranchi-based organisation run by the Missionaries of Charity, a trust set up by Mother Teresa, for allegedly selling a baby, IANS reported on Thursday.

The police arrested Anima Indwar, an employee at Nirmal Hriday, on Wednesday based on a complaint filed by Child Welfare Committee’s Ranchi unit chairperson, Rupa Verma. They arrested the nun, who has not yet been identified, on Thursday.

A member of the committee, Pratima Tiwari, told The Times of India that they realised a baby boy was missing during a routine inspection.

“Missionaries of Charity’s Jail Road chapter gives shelter to women who have no place to give birth,” Tiwari said. “We contacted the mother and she told us that she does not have the child. We followed this up with the institution again. The nuns then contacted the family to whom they had sold the child for Rs 1.2 lakh.”

The Child Welfare Committee chairperson alleged that she filed a complaint after the couple – to whom the accused had given the child to – asked her to intervene, PTI reported. “The Uttar Pradesh-based family claimed that Anima Indwar, who handed over the child to them on May 14, called them up on July 1 and asked them to visit the shelter home for completing certain formalities,” Verma said. “When the child was brought to the shelter home, Indwar took the boy away.” She alleged that the accused had committed more crimes of this nature.

The child is currently in a government shelter for children.




Late Mother Teresa's Order Investigated For Child Trafficking In India


India has ordered its state governments to inspect child care facilities run by the Missionaries of Charity — the Roman Catholic order founded by Mother Teresa — after arrests of a nun and a worker accused of baby trafficking.

Earlier this month, Indian authorities shut down a shelter home for pregnant, unmarried women run by the order in Ranchi, a city in the eastern state of Jharkhand, after discovering that four infants had been sold, including a 6-month-old boy who changed hands for 50,000 rupees ($730).

A nun, identified as Sister Koncilia, and a staff member, Anima Indwar, were arrested in connection with trafficking. According to The Times of India, Indwar confessed to selling the children.

At the time of the arrests, a dozen pregnant women were living at the shelter, according to Catholic News Agency.

CNA reports that one couple reportedly paid Indwar 120,000 rupees ($1,760) in exchange for a child, but that she later took the child back without returning the money. The couple then tipped off police, according to CNA.

India's NDTV cites an unnamed police source as saying all four babies were sold within the past year.

India has ordered its state governments to inspect child care facilities run by the Missionaries of Charity — the Roman Catholic order founded by Mother Teresa — after arrests of a nun and a worker accused of baby trafficking.

Earlier this month, Indian authorities shut down a shelter home for pregnant, unmarried women run by the order in Ranchi, a city in the eastern state of Jharkhand, after discovering that four infants had been sold, including a 6-month-old boy who changed hands for 50,000 rupees ($730).

A nun, identified as Sister Koncilia, and a staff member, Anima Indwar, were arrested in connection with trafficking. According to The Times of India, Indwar confessed to selling the children.

At the time of the arrests, a dozen pregnant women were living at the shelter, according to Catholic News Agency.

CNA reports that one couple reportedly paid Indwar 120,000 rupees ($1,760) in exchange for a child, but that she later took the child back without returning the money. The couple then tipped off police, according to CNA.

India's NDTV cites an unnamed police source as saying all four babies were sold within the past year.

Missionaries of Charity discontinued adoptions in India in 2015, saying it disagreed with government rules that made it easier for single, divorced and separated people to adopt children, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"There was no question of selling any child as the Missionaries of Charity had stopped giving children for adoption three years ago," Samita Kumar, spokeswoman for the order, was quoted as saying by CNA. Kumar explained that even when the order did process adoptions, it never accepted money for them.

Missionaries of Charity was founded in Calcutta, now known as Kolkata, in 1950 by Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later known as Mother Teresa.

The order she founded expanded internationally and went on to become best known for its care of the sick and dying, particularly with facilities such as the Home for the Dying Destitutes in Kolkata, in eastern India.

She was not without detractors, however, including the late writer Christopher Hitchens, who said Teresa was focused on the need for the sick to suffer like Christ did on the cross, rather than on relieving their pain.

As The Washington Post writes, she was also criticized for her relationship with dubious personalities, such as Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and disgraced financier Charles Keating.

Teresa, who died in 1997, was recognized by the Vatican as a saint in 2016.


Missionaries of Charity nun arrested for selling babies in Ranchi



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