Govt calls meeting, plans to Shift kids to state-run shelter

,TNN | Feb 13, 2012, 04.20 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Two weeks after TOI first broke the story about the hellhole orphanage in the Walled story, more horror stories are flying out from its dark chambers. Shocking tales of assault and sexual abuse of minor girls and boys that will leave you numb and chilled to the bone. Stalked, battered and raped, innocence is trampled upon everyday at the Arya Orphanage in Daryaganj. 

Inmates huddle at a corner of their rooms as shadows lengthen and shudder at the thought of even going to the toilet. And it was only after an 11-year-old girl died after being repeatedly raped in the orphanage, that the shocking stories of exploitation are tumbling out. 

The girl, a Class III student of Rani Dutta School on the orphanage campus, was often seen sobbing on the stairs of the school. "She could not suffer anymore and would say she wanted to run away," said her friend. 

These facts have been detailed in a report by an NGO, Haq Foundation, which was engaged by the police to counsel children and find out more about sexual abuse inside the orphanage. The child welfare committee has now launched an inquiry. 

TOI first broke the story on January 26 along with details of the autopsy report which stated "she was a victim of sexual abuse, both vaginal and anal". 

The Haq Foundation, along with police, spoke to several girls and boys inside the orphanage. They all had the same horror story on their lips. And the culprits were invariably senior boys or male staff members, including guards. 

The report states that "boys peep into the girls' rooms, storm into their toilets and molest them, pass obscene comments and even drag them with their hair". They are also forced to watch pornographic videos, said an inmate. 

The Haq Foundation report also says minor boys are victims of sodomy. The crime is hushed up as the children are threatened to keep quiet and not allowed to meet their parents. 

The 11-year-old's mother, who lives in Rohini, had told police and counsellors that her daughter was happy when she had come home in June last year. But the truth was that she would regularly tell her mother to take her out of the orphanage. Another girl and a close friend told counsellors that "she had seen her friend being sexually abused in the toilet". The girl also told Haq Foundation team that same boy had raped three others. Several girls have told the NGO team that they are living in a prison and are exploited every day by senior boys and male staff members who have free access to Kanya Sadan. 

Even several minor boys said they had been sodomised at night when they are alone in their rooms. They are also thrashed and forced to wash their utensils and clothes. 

Nitinjya Chaudhry, assistant secretary of Arya Anathalaya, has, however, refuted these allegations. He stated: "Sexual abuse usually takes place secretly, so it can evade detection. We maintain that barring two incidents which are under investigation, no such incident could have taken place in the premises of Arya Orphanage and allegations made by Haq NGO are malicious, motivated and baseless".