Lower Dibang Valley: A three-day-old baby, allegedly sold by parents for Rs 50,000 to an Itanagar couple, was rescued by a team of social workers with Childline Roing and local police on Thursday.

Social workers say the baby’s parents, poor and out of work as well as money, were approached by a nurse at the hospital, who suggested selling the baby to a couple in Itanagar.

The baby was later handed over to the Special Adoption Agency in Roing, run by the Nani Maria Child Care Institute. The police has registered a case against the baby’s parents as well as buyers.

The parents, residents of Balek village, worked at a tea garden as labourers. Having lost their jobs recently and getting another mouth to feed pushed the couple to sell their newborn to a couple from Itanagar. Sources said the couple bought the baby for Rs 50,000 on Thursday.

“There was no paperwork for the alleged ‘sale’ of the child. Neither party could produce it. It was clearly not a legally done adoption,” said RK Paul Chawang, Director of Childline, Roing, expressing concern over the violation of child rights by both the parties.

“Parents of the baby as well as the buyer have committed a serious crime by violating Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 for selling and buying, a violation under the constitution of India under Article 23 (1). Only good intentions for the wellbeing of a child are not enough, you have to go through the legal procedure to adopt a baby,” Chawang said.

Childline Roing is a 24-hour phone emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection. It is also a second such helpline in Arunachal Pradesh under the union ministry of women and child development linking the state government, NGOs, allied system and the corporate sector.

Any one below 18 years of age can use the 24×7 and toll-free outreach service number 1098 or 03803-223027 to inform or seek help regarding cases of child labour, missing children, abused children, runaway children, children needing medical assistance and abandoned children.

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