Friday, May 26, 2017

Childline seeks action on illegal children’s homes


PUNE: Dnyana Devi Childline Pune has written to women and child development minister Pankaja Munde and the police department seeking action against illegal children's homes in Pune district.

Childline's director Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe said they have been hearing about abuse from " illegal hostels" for children. "We have been reporting these cases to the child welfare committee and the district women and child welfare department. These homes are operating illegally and children from these hostels have sought help from Childline after they were abused,''she said.

The Shirur ashram has about 35 children, including girls and boys, and the parents were charged Rs 15,000 yearly. "It was a residential facility. They went to a zilla parishad school nearby. According to our Childline members, the proprietor and his brother touched these girls inappropriately and made them sit on their laps at odd hours.''

Sahasrabuddhe, who was at the students' deposition, said they told her the Chalaks abused all the children except two who were the daughters of one of them. After Childline spoke to the parents, they gathered courage to file a complaint with the police station. "They are farmers and they were devastated,'' she added.

District women and child welfare officer Meenakshi Birajdar told they would close down this ashram. She said people must report any such homes in the district that operate without the requisite permissions. "It is a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015. We will increase our checks on such homes,''she said.

Child welfare committee member Anita Vipat told they will visit the ashram and take the children's statements. There are many such illegal ashrams in Alandi, Dehu and other religious places which have to be monitored by the authorities. She said parents must also check such places before admitting their children. 


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