iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 09, 2012
The state legislative committee panel, appointed to look into the case of 36 women escaping from Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruha in Mankhurd, will be visiting the women’s home on November 22 and 23. On October 27, 36 women escaped from the home, of which only 13 were caught. They had alleged sexual abuse at the shelter following which the Bombay high court had issued a suo-motu notice to the government to inquire into the incident, leading to the formation of the panel.

The committee will be looking into the reason behind the incident, the allegations made and the overall status of women’s homes in the city, and submit a report on it.

As an immediate measure, the ministry of women and child welfare has got Rs. 66 lakh sanctioned from the PWD department to build a safety wall around the home.

The wall will be around 10 feet high and topped by a 2-feet high barbed wire fence to prevent women from jumping over the wall.

The home department has also been asked to provide a special task force that could provide security around the shelter and even help 120 women who belong to different countries and states to be repatriated.

Fifty women will be shifted to the old home located in Chembur.

“The capacity of the home is 100 and we have almost 275 women. With the existing staff meant for only 100, it is difficult to manage so many.

So, we have asked the home department to provide women constable escorts to send the girls back to their respective states and countries as per the court order,” said  minister of women and child welfare Varsha Gaikwad after the meeting on Thursday.

The committee will also be recommending additional space to be created on the existing building, for an additional 100 women.