Widow pawns her children to pay for husband's funeral

Widow pawns her children to pay for husband's funeral
Published: 2016 February 17 23:02:35 (8937 Views)
A widow from from Gadhuli village in Keonjhar district, India, was forced to pawn her two minor sons for money to perform the last rites of her husband in Champua.

Her story came to light on Wednesday after officer S Nayak and other officials visited Champua on receiving information about the 'mortgaging'.

Sabitri Nayak handed over her sons Mukesh (13) and Sukesh (11) to her neighbour for Rs 5,000 when she could not perform the last rites of her husband, Raiba, the breadwinner of the family.

"I had to pawn my two sons because I don't even have money to feed my children," said Sabitri, who has three more children, Akash (9), Chilari (8) and Barsha (4).



Daily wage earner Raiba had died on January 26 after a long illness that had drained the family's meagre resources and forced Sabitri to withdraw her children from school. The two pawned brothers are looking after the cattle of a neighbour who helped Sabitri with the money.

Sources said Sabitri knocked on several doors for help but none came forward. "The family had spent all its savings on Raiba's treatment. It was distressing to see the kids leave their home, to turn slaves to help their mother repay her debt," said a neighbour.

Nayak, however, denied that the boys were pawned, saying, "They will look after the cattle of the entire village to pay back the money." But, he admitted that the two quit school for employment.

"Sabitri could not get financial help because Champua has just become a notified area council. We're trying to arrange a widow pension and some other financial benefits for her," he said.



Source - TOI

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