Run by an NGO, Shakuntala Parmartha Samiti, a home for girl children at Patel Nagar in Shivpuri district, is nothing short of a living hell for its inmates.
On Wednesday, when a women and child development department team visited the home after receiving a complaint, 12 girls shared their ordeal with the officials on how they have been raped and molested by 75-year-old retired professor and owner of the building, KN Agrawal, on multiple occasions.
Agrawal is absconding, but his daughter, Shaila Agrawal, who runs the home, has been arrested.
“The children’s home has 23 girls between 12 and 18 years,” Suresh Tomar, regional coordinator of WCD department said, adding that all the girls hail from humble backgrounds, and were either abandoned or orphaned.
“While some of them were abandoned at an early age after marriage, there are others who were picked up from railway stations in and around Shivpuri,” Tomar said. “A few of them are from Mumbai. But all of them come from are poor families and are not in touch with their parents or family members,” Tomar said.
The home got its recognition in 2013 from the department. “Every year, the license is renewed but the authority should ensure that they check the living from time to time. We were skeptical about the activities going on in this home,” BK Joshi, a resident of Shivpuri said.
According to the NCRB data of 2015, Madhya Pradesh tops child rape and abuse crime chart with 11.9 kids found to be victims per one lakh child population. There were 1,480 registered cases under POCSO. Child rights activist Prashant Dubey told HT that the state’s defunct juvenile justice system was behind the rise of cases against juveniles. “In 27 out of the 51 districts, the forum for Childs Welfare Committee does not function properly,” he said.