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Ambika Pandit, TNN | Mar 3, 2013, 02.27AM IST
NEW DELHI: An 18-year-old inmate of the Delhi government after-care home for boys at Alipur has alleged physical abuse and maltreatment by the staff. In his complaint to the police, he has also claimed that he was lodged at the home meant for boys between 18 and 21 for the past three years i.e since he was 15. Delhi Police registered an FIR under IPC and Juvenile Justice Act at Alipur police station on February 28.
The boy has alleged gross violations at the home and explained how he has been pleading his case before various officials, including those of department of women and child welfare, but to no avail.
The boy belongs to a village in Bihar and ran away from home as his father was an alcoholic. His mother died many years ago and abject poverty forced him to flee. After he had moved from one city to another, living at railway stations and begging for a living, he was rescued by a social worker in Delhi. He next found himself at a private shelter for destitute children near Old Delhi railway station and was finally sent to the Alipur home though he was only 15 and should have been sent to a children's home. It is here that he was allegedly subjected to physical abuse and maltreatment and had to fend for himself. For survival, he worked as a waiter at roadside eateries, the complaint to the police states.
Taruna Kataria, president of Sampurna, the NGO which came across the case recently, told TOI that this was a clear case of violation of the JJ Act. "The boy turned 18 only on February 24 but he has been lodged at the Alipur home since he was 15. Also, after-care homes are meant to facilitate boys and girls from children homes after they turn 18. This is not meant to be a dumping ground for under-age children," she said. Activists say this case raises questions about the role of the child welfare committee as no child can be placed in a state-run facility without their orders.
Last month TOI had reported the case of a seven-year-old HIV positive boy from Delhi government's Ashiana Home for Boys in Alipur, who was alleged sexually abused by older boys. A police case was registered only after NGO 'Haq: Centre for Child Rights' took up the matter.