Patna, July 19 (IANS) A destitute Bihar woman who went missing after selling her child to a Nepalese couple for Rs.62 has been finally traced - still starving along with her other two kids and ailing husband.
In a sad story of hunger amid plenty, Shannu Khatun, in her mid-30s, was found wandering near her house in Madanpur village in Araria district.
"She and her children were very hungry and in a bad condition when policemen spotted them," Araria Superintendent of Police Shivdeep W. Lande told IANS.
When policemen took Shannu Khatun and her two children to her house in the village, they found her physically challenged husband Mohammad Shaheed on a cot. He too was "very hungry" and asked for food.
Lande, who had ordered a search for the woman, said police offered them food and milk.
Forced by poverty, Shannu Khatun sold her four-month-old son to a Nepalese couple at the Forbesganj railway station near the India-Nepal border, some 350 km from here, last week.
The "sale" -- amid stories of Bihar's economic recovery -- created a stir in the state.
Lande said the woman has been shifted to a "short stay home".
Several voluntary groups in India and abroad have offered to support the woman and her family.
"I was upset after Shannu Khatun disappeared when news of her plight hit the headlines," the police officer said.
An Araria district official, Gopal Prasad, said police had handed over the family to the administration for their rehabilitation.
"For the time being, she and her children will be in a short stay home and will be provided food," Prasad said.
She would also get a house under the Indira Awas Yojna, he added. "Now she will get the benefits of government welfare schemes."