• Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:52 am

India takes over children's shelters after finding abuse

  • Published at 07:23 pm September 3rd, 2018
Indian bystanders gather near the entrance of the 'Ashray' Home in Jalpaiguri on February 21, 2017, which is at the centre of an alleged child trafficking scandal in the district of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal AFP

About 1,300 shelters are unregistered, according to the NCPCR, which means they operate illegally and with little or no oversight

Government authorities will take over all shelters in India's northern state of Bihar after an audit found that children were being verbally, physically and sexually abused in homes run by charities, an official said.

The probe, which Bihar state commissioned earlier this year to examine how government funds were being used, found 15 charity-run homes where children were abused and deprived of food, clothing and medicine.

Victims also included women rescued from bonded labour or sexual slavery, and toddlers awaiting adoption, according to the audit, which was posted to a state government website.

"The protectors had turned perpetrators in these shelters," said Raj Kumar, director of social welfare with the Bihar state government.

"Over the next two to three months, we will be taking over all shelters in the state," he said by phone.

Campaigners applauded the state government's reaction to the audit.

"Bihar not only initiated the audit but also acted on it," said Mohammad Tariq, who led the audit and is director of Koshish, a charity affliated with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, a Mumbai-based university.

"Governments rarely act on such reports, but state officials lodged police complaints against shelters," he said.

Recent revelations of abuse at children's shelters have sparked a nationwide public outcry, and pushed the central government to look into how widespread the problem is.

Police in the city of Deoria, in Uttar Pradesh state, said in early August that they had rescued 20 girls and three boys from a home where they were sold for sex.

That raid came just weeks after police rescued 29 girls from a shelter in Bihar and arrested 10 people who are under investigation for crimes including rape.

Stuti Kacker, head of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that an audit of about 9,000 shelters across India is underway, with one-third of them surveyed so far.

Only a small number of shelters housing 230,000 children are run satisfactorily, according to an interim report submitted by the NCPCR to the Supreme Court last week.

About 1,300 shelters are unregistered, according to the NCPCR, which means they operate illegally and with little or no oversight.

In Bihar, the team that conducted the audit is now drawing up a rehabilitation plan for children rescued from abusive shelters.

"The government is the local guardian of these children. We have set an example by doing a social audit. We are trying to improve," Kumar said.

Facebook 63
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail