The National Human Rights Commission has expressed serious concern over the poor condition of Children’s Home for Girls at Nagpur and has issued a notice to the Government of Maharashtra, through its Chief Secretary, calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. In the suo motu cognizance, the Commission has observed that the picture which emerges from her report is that poor children are, perhaps, being subjected to more humiliation at the ‘Home’ than outside. It lacks basic infrastructure even after more than 60 years since it was set up. The Homes, set up by the state agencies, are meant for the children who require shelter, care and protection.
The move follows the report of the Commission’s Special Rapporteur, Mrs. S Jalaja, who visited the ‘Home’ on 15th May, 2017. She pointed that the ‘Home’ meant for the care and protection of girl inmates, itself seems to be in the need of care and protection. The ‘Home’ has not received grants from the State Government. The food supply for the inmates has come to a standstill. The only source of food for them is “Akshayapatra”, a food program run by ISKON. The building is totally unprotected and unguarded. Three posts of Caretakers are lying vacant. Out of fear, all girls are forced to sleep in one hall of the building.
Reportedly, four girls ran away from this ‘Home’ recently and one of them was subjected to gang rape by some miscreants. The victim girl is undergoing treatment in a local hospital. There is no guard/watchman posted at the gate of the ‘Home’ to regulate the visits of the outsiders. No CCTV cameras have been installed at the premises. The Superintendent of the Children’s Home, with the assistance of only one Clerk and a Caretaker, appears helpless with regard to the protection of the girl inmates. The institution was set up by the Government of Maharashtra in 1963 for the protection of girls. It is functioning under the Department of Women and Children. The ‘Home’ has a capacity of 100 children. At present total 80 children between the age group of 6 and 18 are lodged. Most of them are from Maharashtra and some are from the other States.
National Human Rights Commission