Kids' home manager accused of maltreating inmates
Lajpat Nagar Child Welfare Committee has directed the area police to probe the matter
The woman manager of a children's home run by non-government organisation Prayas in the Capital has been accused of maltreating two of its inmates. Taking cognisance of the allegations, the Lajpat Nagar Child Welfare Committee has directed the area police to probe the matter.
According to one of the victims, who is five-month pregnant, the manager purportedly made her and another girl sit outside the dormitory from the night of April 12 to the next morning without dinner. The victims alleged that the manager would make them do her personal work.
The CWC received a complaint in this regard on April 17. After the children alleged that they were ill-treated by the manager, the committee summoned her and during the hearing on Tuesday she admitted to have punished the children. She admitted that she used to get pedicure and manicure done by them, but would pay for it.
The CWC in its order stated that on the basis of the facts gathered “it is now confirmed that abuse of both the children took place. The role of the manager is found to be in the category of abuse”.
Observing that there was an urgent need for making the care home staff aware of what constitutes abuse, neglect and maltreatment, the committee said there should be zero tolerance for abuse and neglect of any kind in any institution. “This is not the first time that a case of physical and emotional abuse has been reported. In 2010, children had reported being beaten up by a counsellor and the committee had referred the matter to the local police for investigation and necessary action…There is no management committee at Prayas, where such issues can be dealt with and action taken as required under the Delhi Juvenile Justice Rules,” said the order issued on Wednesday.
Noting that there was a prima-facie case of abuse and exploitation, the committee directed the police to investigate the matter and submit an action taken report on May 29. It also directed that statements of the two children be recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, soon after registration of the case.
The committee issued instructions to the chief functionary of the care home to organise sensitisation programmes for staffers and constitute a management committee at the home as per rules.
Refuting the charges, Prayas Director (Projects) Arun Grover said: “Trouble began when the resident manager asked the two girls to remove the ornaments they were wearing, as it did not seem proper given the fact that they were living with many other minor inmates. However, they objected to it and created a scene, following which the manager asked them to leave. Apparently in anger, the two girls -- who are married and have now been restored to their in-laws -- decided to remain outside. When the manager learnt that they had not eaten anything, she offered them her meal. But they refused. In fact, we have an open self-service kitchen from where they could have had food of their choice,” said Ms. Grover.
Ms. Grover said the girls, who had joined a beauty culture course during their stay at the care home, would willingly do pedicure and manicure of the manager to sharpen their skills, but the manager still paid them for their work.
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