Arunabhash, the uncle of two Indian kids separated from their parents by Norwegian Child Welfare Services on the ground of “emotional disconnect” left for Norway on Wednesday to present his ‘statement of intent’ before the authorities to seek their custody.
India Wednesday reiterated its plea to Norway for expediting the process of handing over children of an NRI couple to their uncle and underlined the urgent need for the children to be brought up in a familiar cultural milieu.
M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, met a senior Norwegian official here and stressed the need for an expeditious solution to the case of an NRI couple whose two children were taken away by the Norwegian Childcare Services on grounds of “emotional disconnect”.
The urgency of the children to be brought up in a familiar milieu was stressed, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here.
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan also met Norway’s Environment and International Development Minister Eric Solheim and pressed for an expeditious resolution of the issue, said the spokesperson.
An agreement was struck between India and Norway last week under which the parents (Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya) named Anurup’s brother Arunabhash Bhattacharya as the primary caretaker of the two children, Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1).
The agreement was struck between the Indian government through its mission in Norway, the municipality concerned of Norway, the Norwegian Childcare Services, and the parents.
Arunabhash will be in Norway Thursday and meet the Norwegian authorities to discuss the procedures of taking charge of children.
The three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Stavanger, Norway, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) in May last year on grounds that they were not looked after properly by their parents.
Barnevarne had placed them in foster parental care as per the directive of the local Norwegian court, mandated under Norwegian laws.
Following appeals for help by parents, India had issued a couple of strong demarches to Norway and made it clear that the decision of the Norwegian Childcare Services to separate two children from their NRI parents was an extreme step and unjustified.