Children open heart to NGO about repeated exploitation

,TNN | Feb 13, 2012, 04.23 AM IST

NEW DELHI: TOI's report on how an 11-year-old girl was allegedly abused inside Arya Anathalaya in central Delhi, has opened a Pandora's box of similar cases of abuse inside the orphanage.

Police claim that after talking to kids inside the orphanage for five days, along with NGO Haq Foundation, another 40 to 50 children-around 15 boys and the rest girls-were found to have faced abuse. Further, the 14-year-old boy who had been detained last week for abusing the girl, had also allegedly sodomized a nine-year-old boy inside the orphanage sometime in September last year.

The mother of the boy had even complained to the management, but it did not take any action, said a source. The central district police registered an FIR for sodomy on Saturday night after the boy's mother gave a written complaint. The boy is being counselled at Juvenile Justice Home. The additional deputy commissioner of police (central district), Aslam Khan, told TOI: "If we get more complaints from kids and their parents, we will register the cases."

Officials said most of the kids that cops and NGO members spoke to between January 28 and February 3, complained of sexual harassment, ill-treatment, eve-teasing and digital rapes of kids, including boys. Khan said on the first day of their interactions, the kids opened up about several boys between the age group of 12 and 15 abusing younger girls and boys, with even male staff members being complicit. They, however, were threatened not to reveal anything to the police.

In the 11-year-old's case, the statements of two minor girls who were friends of the victim and also stayed in the orphanage, were recorded before the magistrate. They disclosed that incidents of abuse are commonplace in the orphanage, with nobody paying heed to their complaints.

Sources said that after such incidents came to light, some of the parents have taken their kids away from the orphanage. Police claimed that most of the kids inside the orphanage have parents who don't have the means to take care of them, or are being raised by a single parent with meagre income.

The orphanage is not registered under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child Act) 2000 and Delhi Juveniles Justices Rules of 2009. It also does not allow Child Welfare Committee to inspect the premises.