‘Anathalaya conditions not as pitiable as reported’

Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
Just after the Delhi government has taken over the administration of Arya Anathalaya in Darya Ganj following complaints of child abuse and poor maintenance, officials have become active and everything is being done properly, or so it seems.

When this correspondent visited the Anathalaya, children were seen cleaning room and dormitory. Most of the small children did not have warm clothes. There was no bed for them though caretakers and seniors children had proper arrangements for lodging.

The secretary of Anathalaya, Balraj Chaudhary said that rooms and dormitories are cleaned by the children themselves, but toilet is cleaned by a sweeper.

He said that due to lack of space, every child is not given bed. The number of children is more while the space is less. As far as senior children are concerned, their section has sufficient space. New block will be constructed soon to accommodate more children.

President of the boys' section, Teljal Bharti said that whatever had appeared in the media was not correct.

"We have been running the institution for the last 94 years. People are getting their wards enrolled in the Anathalaya as they believe that the children are given better environment for study. So far we have not been given any medical record of the girl who died in hospital in December last year. She was admitted to hospital after she had made a complaint of some problem. Now the media has alleged that she was raped, but we have not been given any report by the police," he said.

He added, "We have a separate section for girls. We have arrangements for senior girls at East of Kailash. They are shifted there after they pass out the fifth class. We have been running senior secondary school inside the Anathalaya since 1994 and children are doing well."