Baby removed from dilapidated house

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 06:30

Three-week-old ba­by Im­ran Ali has been tak­en out of a dirty, di­lap­i­dat­ed house at Philip­pine and is now ward­ed at the San Fer­nan­do Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal un­der the care of the Child Pro­tec­tion Unit.

Days af­ter the Guardian Me­dia high­light­ed the ba­by’s plight, there are al­le­ga­tions that scam­mers are hood­wink­ing Good Samar­i­tans and prof­it­ing from the fam­i­ly’s plight.

Sev­er­al peo­ple who reached out to the Guardian Me­dia said a lot of the items do­nat­ed to the fam­i­ly are now be­ing sold by Ali’s rel­a­tives.

A med­ical source said the child was un­der­nour­ished and will be kept at the hos­pi­tal for the next few weeks un­til he is ful­ly re­cov­ered. The ba­by’s moth­er Di­ane Ali has been stay­ing in the hos­pi­tal with him while in­ves­ti­ga­tions pro­ceed.

A po­lice source said the Child Pro­tec­tion Unit is ex­pect­ed to vis­it the fam­i­ly’s home at Hill­piece Road, Philip­pine to see first-hand their liv­ing con­di­tions. They are al­so ex­plor­ing re­ports from con­fi­den­tial sources that the ba­by is of­ten tak­en out at Palmiste Park, scant­i­ly clad, while rel­a­tives so­lic­it funds.

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Mooni­lal and the Con­cerned Cit­i­zens Group of Debe vis­it­ed the fam­i­ly on Sat­ur­day to de­liv­er box­es of di­a­pers, wipes, a stove, a mat­tress and oth­er house­hold items but were met by the rel­a­tive who did not al­low them to get in­side the house. The items were de­liv­ered out­side. Oth­er peo­ple who con­tact­ed the Guardian Me­dia said they too were sus­pi­cious that help was not reach­ing the ba­by.

In a Face­book post, head of the Glim­mer of Hope Foun­da­tion Za­hir Ali said he was dis­turbed that in­no­cent good-heart­ed peo­ple were be­ing fooled.

He plead­ed with cit­i­zens to make a prop­er as­sess­ment be­fore ren­der­ing any help.

Ali said, “Not every­thing you read is true, these peo­ple are tak­ing ad­van­tage of your good­ness.” He com­mend­ed the Child Pro­tec­tion Unit and the Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty for mov­ing speed­i­ly to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter in­volv­ing the ba­by.

A po­lice of­fi­cer from the Fraud Squad said any­one who is caught so­lic­it­ing mon­ey un­der false pre­tences will face pros­e­cu­tion.

Con­tact­ed for com­ment yes­ter­day, chair­man of the Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty Han­iff Ben­jamin said the mat­ter in­volv­ing the ba­by is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The phi­los­o­phy of the Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty is that chil­dren thrive best with their birth fam­i­ly, where pos­si­ble, ap­pro­pri­ate and in the best in­ter­est of the child.

There­fore, in every cir­cum­stance, the Au­thor­i­ty seeks to keep chil­dren with their fam­i­ly.

The Au­thor­i­ty has in­ter­vened in the sit­u­a­tion sur­round­ing the moth­er and her ba­by.

We will con­tin­ue to work with our part­ners in the child pro­tec­tion sec­tor to en­sure that both moth­er and child re­ceive the nec­es­sary care,” Ben­jamin added.

Reporter: Radhica De Silva