The Shishu Bhavan, run by Missionaries of Charity, was charging between Rs 40,000 and Rs 100,000 for each baby!
Authorities have sealed the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, a home run by Mother Teresa’s religious order in Ranchi, Jharkhand and charged a nun and other persons with baby trafficking. The home, run by Missionaries of Charity which was founded by Teresa in 1950, has been providing shelter for pregnant unmarried women. Police took action after the state's Child Welfare Committee (CWC) registered a complaint.
“They have said that at least five to six babies have been sold to childless couples,” police officer Aman Kumar told Reuters.
“We are investigating to see how the operation was run and how many more children have been given away in the last few years,” he added.
Reports suggest that a nun belonging to the Missionaries of Charity has been arrested for selling a 14-day-old baby. Two other women employees from the centre have been detained and are being questioned about other possible cases.
However, the Missionaries of Charity did not respond to the media reports so far. Arti Kujur, head of the Jharkhand State Child Protection Society, said the home was charging between Rs 40,000 and Rs 100,000 for each baby. “We had been receiving many complaints regarding the functioning of this home and were keeping a close watch on them for nearly six months,” he said.
“They were selling more babies than what they were handing over to authorities,” said Baidnath Kumar, a Ranchi-based child rights activist who had filed complaints against the home.
The Missionaries of Charity, with more than 3,000 nuns worldwide, also runs many such centres for unmarried pregnant women across the country.