The alcoholic mother who abandoned her two years and a month-old son finally turned up to take him back. Sadly, her socially-unfriendly living conditions which will prove hazardous to the child may keep the baby away from her.
The child Pema Gyamtsho’s mother Karma Lhamo, 25 is a divorcee and has a 10-year old daughter too. But she does not have a proper place to stay. And her own mother thinks she won’t be able to take care of the baby as she is a habitual drinker.
However on Monday the Women and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) will hand over the case to the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) for instructions regarding the child.
The 10-year old daughter is with the father, a police constable in Samtse who is married now with a second wife.
Meanwhile the baby Pema Gyamtsho received an audience with some Royal family members and received Nu 20,000 as soelra.
Karma Lhamo had previously lied to police that she has six more siblings to look after. She also confessed that every night she has to drink Rockbee (alcohol).
She comes from a broken family and has two younger brothers who are still undergoing training in Thimphu. She is from Samcholing village in Trongsa.
In a phone conversation between the officer in-charge Karma Lhamo’s mother confessed that her daughter won’t be able to take care of the baby.
It was also learnt that, she had run away from her mother’s house in Chhukha since she was not getting along with her grandfather.
For now what the future holds for the baby is unknown as it is not clear whether his mother can take him back, or whether the concerned authorities will take over.
Section 215 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, 2004 states a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of abandonment of an infant or a child, if a defendant is a parent, guardian, or other person legally charged with the care or custody of an infant or a child and the defendant leaves the infant or child in any place with the intent to abandon the infant or child.
While section 217 says a defendant shall have a defense to the offence of abandonment of an infant or a child, if the defendant leaves the infant or a child in a place where the infant or a child will be cared for appropriately.
The offence of abandonment of an infant or a child shall be a misdemeanor with a prison term of less than three years and minimum of a year if convicted.
Chencho Dema /Thimphu