Assam and its neighbouring State West Bengal are in the grip of a festive mood with Durga Puja knocking on the doors. Festival time means wearing the best of dresses, tickling one’s taste buds and pandal hopping – it’s all about fun, food and celebrations.
But, for a couple of West Bengal, who is married for the last seven years and is still childless, this Durga Puja will remain etched in their memories forever as they got a very “special gift” in the form of a bundle of joy from the people of Assam.
On Saturday, the couple from Dakshin Dinajpur district of West Bengal took home a two-and-a-half month old healthy baby boy from Mangaldai in Darrang district of Assam after a long-drawn legal adoption procedure framed by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.
The Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) received the baby for pre-adoption foster care from the Specialised Adoption Agency – ‘Aai’ – under the wings of the voluntary organisation Crystal Vision of Mangaldai. The bonny baby was “surrendered” by his biological parents to ‘Aai’ just after he came into this world. He is the first baby to be adopted legally from Darrang district. Earlier, on Friday afternoon, a simple farewell ceremony was organised for the baby by the Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) where he was being looked after with utmost care for the last couple of months
It was a visibly emotional moment and members of Crystal Vision, staff and caretakers of SAA, members of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and all other people who were present on the occasion burst into tears the moment Assistant Commissioner Hemashri Khanikar, as the representative of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Darrang, Ashok Kumar Barman, wrapped the baby in a Bihuwan and handed him over to his foster parents.
“I am thankful to the staff of SAA for taking utmost care of the infant for which he has grown into a healthy baby. I hope his foster parents will take equal care of him as has been taken care of by the people of SAA,” Hemashri said. Senior Consultant Paediatrician Dr Gautam Bora who has been monitoring the health of the baby since he came into the centre, sang paeans of praise for the SAA caretakers for keeping the baby in “good health”.
“The SAA staff never left him unattended. We all grew very fond of him and got deeply involved with the baby – particularly taking care of his health and overall growth. The baby gaining a weight of 7.5 kg in two-and-a-half months goes to prove how involved the SAA caretakers were in nurturing the baby whom they fondly address as ‘Rup’,” said Dr Bora.
Malika Sutradhar, the seniormost caretaker said about the baby teary-eyed, “Rup was like an angel of God for the centre and his void can never be filled up. But, we are happy that he has found a set of caring parents. This is our biggest satisfaction.”
‘Rup’s’ farewell event was attended by the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Darrang Pankaj Chakravarty, Chairman of Mangaldai Municipal Board Pratap Bordoloi and several other dignitaries. It may be mentioned that the said SAA – which is the first in Darrang district and which got recognition from the Assam Government in June last – is presently taking care of another ‘surrendered baby’.