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West Bengal: Hospital prevents 16-yr-old from selling her blood to buy smartphone | Kolkata

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Aspirations turned scary for a poor family in West Bengal after their 16-year-old daughter approached the blood bank of a district hospital on Monday to sell her blood so that she could buy a smartphone.

Concerned, the blood bank authorities informed Childline India and the girl was counselled before being handed over to her parents with the help of the district child welfare committee.

“A girl approached us around 10 am. Initially we thought that she had come to take blood as it was a blood bank of the district hospital. But when she told us that she wanted to sell us blood, we were shocked,” said Kanak Kumar Das from the blood bank at the Balurghat district hospital.

She left home on Monday giving the excuse of attending tuitions, but left her bicycle at the bus stand. She boarded a bus from Tapan to reach the district headquarters in Balurghat, around 30 km away, and headed straight to the hospital.

“I was not at home when she went out. I am not sure how she got the idea that she could sell blood to get money,” her father, who is a vegetable vendor at the local market, said. Her mother is a homemaker. The girl has a younger brother who studies in class four.

Childline authorities got in touch with the district child welfare committee, contacted her parents and handed her over to them.

“Initially she told us that she wanted to sell her blood so that she could pay for her brother’s treatment. But later, upon a little counselling, she told us that she wanted money to buy a smartphone which she has already ordered online on her relative’s mobile phone,” Das said.

Since the girl was a minor, the blood bank authorities informed Childline on 1098, and counsellor Rita Mahato rushed to the hospital.

“She told us that she had ordered a mobile phone on Sunday through an online shopping app. It costs around 9,000 and will be delivered on Thursday,” Mahato said.

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