February 10, 2023
BHUBANESWAR – Three months after the drowning of a 16-year-old adopted girl, the ex-gratia award by the special relief commissioner has split two families to such an extent that the biological parents launched an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday in front of the Community Health Center (CHC) at Rajnagar, demanding death certificate of their daughter to attain eligibility for compensation.
Namita, 16, was the biological daughter of Ranjan Mai and Rupali Mai of Ostia village. The couple also has two sons. Namita was legally adopted as a daughter of a couple Ratnakar Das and Mamata Das of Gopaljewpatana village under Rajnagar block. Namita is mentioned as the daughter of Ratnakar and Mamata in Aadhaar card and school admission register.
The feuding natural and adoptive parents of Namita reached a flashpoint following claim and counter-claims by both the warring parents. As a result, the Rs 4 lakh cheque is yet to be issued by anybody’s name. The medical officer of the Community Health Center at Rajnagar will issue the death certificate of Namita carrying the names of the deceased’s parents.
After getting the death certificate, we will provide the amount to the parents of Namita. The legally eligible parents will be awarded Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia compensation as drowning has been declared as a state-specific disaster, said Ashiwini Kumar Bhuyan, Tehasildar of Rajnagar.
After examining relevant documents and consulting government officials and pleaders, we will issue the death certificate of Namita, said Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty, the Medical Officer of CHC, Rajnagar.
It is an unfortunate turn of event. The compensation money has been the bone of contention among the natural and adoptive parents of a deceased girl. As per law once the adoption is legalized, the biological parents have no legal ties with the child. Thus, they are not entitled to get the compensation amount, said Subash Das, a lawyer of Kendrapara.