Petition Closed
Petitioning Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen and 1 other

Reunite Indian Family in Norway: Feeding Children by Hand is Not Abuse

Eight months ago, Norway’s Child Protective Services removed the children of Indian nationals, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, and placed them in foster care for feeding their children with their hands and letting the children sleep in the same bed as them. According to the court decision, the children - 3 year old Avigyan and 1 year old Aishwarya - are to be kept in foster care until they are 18, and their parents are permitted to visit them only twice a year for one hour each time.  The Bhattacharya's visa expires in March, but they will be forced to remain in Norway if they continue to be separated from their children.

Eating with one’s hands is a practice, not only found in India, but also in the West, and has absolutely no logical connection to a parent’s ability to effectively care for or raise his/her children. Similarly, allowing young infants to sleep in the same bed as their parents is common in both Indian and Western societies and is not a justification for removing children from their parents’ home.

This drastic measure by Child Protective Services and the court decision are unconscionable and unbecoming of a democratic society.  The latest report can be found by clicking here

Letter to
Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen
Barnevernet Norway Child Protective Services
I write to voice my serious concern and objection over the unconscionable act taken by Norway’s Child Protective Services, Barnevernet, eight months ago, which has torn apart an Indian family living in Stavanger. Barnevernet removed the children of Indian nationals, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, and placed them in foster care because the parents fed their children with their hands and let their children sleep in their bed. According to the court decision, the children - 3 year old Avigyan and 1 year old Aishwarya - are to be kept in foster care until they are 18, and their parents are permitted to visit them only twice a year for one hour each time.

Eating with one’s hands is a practice, not only found in India, but also in the West, where foods such as pizza, sandwiches, and many snack items do not involve the use of utensils. It has absolutely no logical connection to a parent’s ability to effectively care for or raise his/her children. Similarly, allowing young infants to sleep in the same bed as their parents is common in both Indian and Western societies and is not a justification for removing children from their parents’ home.

The drastic measures taken by Barnevernet and the court decision to severely curtail visitation rights are not only extreme and excessive, but unbecoming of a democratic society. I urge you to promptly address this tragic situation and urge Norway’s Child Protective Services to reunite the Bhattacharya children with their parents, particularly in light of the fact that their parents' visa expires in March.
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Sincerely,