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Norway children row: Do fighting parents deserve custody?
With fresh allegations levelled by Anurup against his wife, it seems that the children of the NRI couple living in Norway will continue staying in the foster home, and that the Indian government might have to re-think about sending diplomats to the Scandinavian country for the custody battle.

THIS ALSO suggests that the Norwegian authorities’ action, seen as a ‘criminal act’ by Indians, was a genuine concern for the welfare of kids. The Norway kids row has been becoming complicated and murkier with every passing day – what started making headlines in India as a case of ‘forcibly taking away kids from parents’ is actually turning out to be a genuine and appreciable job by the Scandinavian government.

It all started last year in May when the Norwegian government sent Abhigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple to a foster home on the grounds that the parents are not properly looking after the children, according to DNA.

Adding a fresh twist to the case, the father alleged that wife, Sagarika had a serious psychological problem and he was even considering separation from her. All along the way he had hidden it to get the custody of the children. With this all those who had been critisizing the Norwegian government’s action have been shut, and this will also weaken the case of two Indian diplomats who are flying to the Scandinavian country for the custody hearing, set on March 23.

The reunion of the kids with the family now seems to be in jeopardy but one can definitely say that the children would be safer with the guardians in the foster home than with the troubled parents. This has many a times been highlighted that children suffer depression and other issues if their parents keep quarrelling. So going through all these things, one can’t expect that the parents of these kids will get custody of the children.

The outrage caused across the country following the action of Norwegian child welfare department will definitely subside considering that their actions seem justified - though the same steps were being potrayed as ‘criminal’. The custody battle has also highlighted the fact that the country’s administration, which tomtoms zero tolerance of child abuses, doesn't come across as much of a defender of child rights.

Children, the elder one in particular, must be missing his parents but taking into view the situation both the children are in; it seems that a foster home is the best abode for them for now. The rift between the parents can take a serious toll on their lives but if the parents present a strong case and prove that they can stay together happily, they should be awarded the custody of the children as soon as possible. As parents, they must be facing a difficult situation as parenthood is only completed if children are around but the thoughts that they are staying in a foster home must be killing for both of them.

Though in India, one can’t even think of such child welfare departments who will keep a track on families so that they ensure the safety and well being of their children. We have hundreds of thousands of children who are even denied basic food and shelter and only after we manage to take care of them, we could think of the next step.

The opinion that only parents can look after the children in the best way is the reason that the custody battle issue led to an outrage in India and even proposing to have more such homes can be a life-threatening consequence for a person who suggests this idea.


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