This single dad's story of adopting a child with Down's syndrome will melt your heart

Published: Sep 11, 2019, 17:06 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Tiwari continued to visit Avinash and did not give up, even when the orphanage moved to Bhopal

This single dad's story of adopting a child with Down's syndrome will melt your heart
Aditya and his son, Avnish. Pic/Instagram

A heartening story of Aditya Tiwari and his son Avnish has gone viral on social media. The story talks about a single parent, Aditya who adopted Avnish who is a child suffering from Down's Syndrome. In the process, he also exposed an orphanage for its malpractices.

Tiwari had met Avnish five years ago at an orphanage when the latter was only five months old. “No one was paying any attention to him. I couldn’t help myself, so I went and picked him up - he laughed, and we just clicked,” he says.

Tiwari added that when he asked about the kids to the warden, he said that all the other children would get adopted except for Avnish since he was 'Paagal' and would die in a few years anyway. He asked if the orphanage would let him adopt Avnish but they laughed and told him that a bachelor below 30 years of age had no right to adopt.

 
 
 
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“About 5 years ago, it was my dad’s birthday & I went to an orphanage to give sweets. That’s when I saw Avnish–he was 5 months old. No one was paying attention to him. I couldn’t help it & picked him up–he laughed & we just clicked. The warden said all the kids but Avnish would get adopted because he was ‘paagal’–he had Down Syndrome. When I went home that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about how he was all alone there. So I went back & to see if they’d let me adopt him. They laughed & said that a bachelor, younger than 30 can’t adopt. I didn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t give up. I visited Avnish often & started asking about his medical condition to make sure he was being treated right. But every time I asked, the warden was dodgy. They even moved him to an orphanage in Bhopal, because they were tired of me snooping. But I didn’t relent–I drove every weekend to meet him & even researched adoption laws. I wrote letters to ministers for help. I even got in touch with the Child Welfare Council, but they didn’t have any record on Avnish. That didn’t sit well with me. I realised there were many undocumented kids there. Something was fishy–these kids were disappearing & I suspected they were victims of child trafficking. I didn’t want any kid to have that fate. So I went to the police & filled petitions to bring the truth out. I began getting calls from people, telling me to ‘stay out of the matter or else’. Finally my breakthrough came when the Welfare Minister extended help. Soon the orphanage was exposed & banned. After 11 months, I was given Avnish’s custody & all the other kids were sent to a safer home. It was the happiest day of my life. I lived alone, so I baby-proofed my home, spent nights learning how to change diapers & how to take care of Down Syndrome babies. And when Avnish came home, it was like sunshine walked into my life. Today, Avnish even goes to playschool! He calls me both mumma & papa, because he sees mom’s coming to pick their kids up at school. When I go to work, he stays at daycare & at night we play & read. He’s the best thing that’s happened to me,he’s my world, he’s my son & together, we’re going to make this life a special one."

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) onSep 9, 2019 at 5:33am PDT

Tiwari continued to visit Avinash and did not give up, even when the orphanage moved to Bhopal. He also researched adoption laws in the country and wrote to ministers for help.

“I even got in touch with the child welfare council, but they said that they didn’t have any record on Avnish… I realised that there were many more undocumented kids at the orphanage. Something was fishy - a lot of these kids were disappearing and I suspected they were victims of child trafficking and organ selling,” he says.

He approached the police and filed petitions to seek the truth of the matter. However, with a response from the Welfare Minister, things became better. "That expedited everything, and soon that orphanage was exposed and banned," he says.

After 11 months of efforts, Tiwari was given Avnish’s custody. “The day Avnish came home, it was like sunshine walked into my life,” he says.

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