September 22, 2020

DM orders checks to prevent home horrors

Patna: District magistrate Kumar Ravi has set up a team to inspect the 20 shelter homes in Patna district in light of the Muzaffarpur Balika Grih case in which at least 34 minor girls were drugged, tortured and raped at a state government-funded facility run by an NGO.

As newer horrors tumble out from shelter homes across the state, Ravi on Sunday stressed that he would personally monitor the inspections and if any misdeeds come to light he would recommend that the social welfare department take action against such shelter homes and NGOs.

There are 110 shelter homes in Bihar under the social welfare department which are divided into Balika Grihs (for minor girls), Bal Grihs (for boys) and Swadhar Grihs (for destitute women).

“In view of the Muzaffarpur incident I have issued the order to keep proper tabs and conduct regular inspections of Balika Grih, Bal Grih and Swadhar Grih in Patna,” Ravi told The Telegraph on Sunday.

“I have formed a team comprising the sub-divisional officer (SDO) and child development project officer (CDPO) who will inspect the facilities. They have been asked to minutely look into the living condition in the shelter homes. We have been already conducting regular inspections but after the (Muzaffarpur incident we have become even more alert,” he said.

“Regular inspections will take place and I will monitor the entire exercise,” he added. “Shelter home inmates have no one to take care of them, so we need to take special care of them. If there would be any further instructions from the (social welfare) department we will follow that too.”

Ravi iterated that the inspecting teams will be extra alert for signs of sexual exploitation at the shelter homes.

“Our aim is to find out whether or not there are any loopholes in the functioning of shelter homes. I have strictly asked the inspecting team to be careful and sensitive during the inspections. We will take strict action if anything wrong is found,” he stressed.

Test on boys

The medical tests performed on two boys from a Bal Grih in Motihari have ruled out sexual abuse, said sub-inspector Shashikala, who is an investigating officer in the case related to alleged abuse at the shelter home. The medical examinations were conducted because the Tata Institute of Social Sciences report had mentioned physical torture and sexual abuse at the shelter for boys.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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