Sec 15-home for destitute gets CCTVs, counsellors

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2014 11:58 IST

Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Devi Sirohi visited the Children Home for Girls’, which was earlier called Bal Niketan, in Sector 15 to take stock of arrangements made by the administration after taking over the possession of the home.

The Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation took over the possession of the home from the NGO, which was earlier running the home, on April 25 after the incident of sexual harassment of inmates by a male supervisor came to light.

While spelling out the reasons of her visit, Sirohi said she wanted to check the arrangements made by the administration for the children. She said the administration had increased the strength of staff in the home, which had only a handful of staff members when it was being run by the NGO.

Happy with the arrangements, Sirohi said the administration had permanently placed two counsellors for the children.

Besides that, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at the home to keep a check on the activities of the inmates and movement of outsiders.

The department of social welfare has also designated professionals and experts to assist the children under section 39 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act.

Sirohi also interacted with the children at the home.

As many as 13 children who were restored to their family members have returned to the home after the department of social welfare managed to persuade them.

Out of 13 inmates, who have returned, 10 are complainants in the sexual harassment case. At present, there are 25 inmates residing in the home.

The department has also traced the remaining four complainants in the case, who are expected to return soon.

The matter of supervisor sexually harassing inmates came to light on April 2, after a complaint was received on child helpline 1098, reportedly from the Bal Niketan inmates.

The complaint was then forwarded to the social welfare department and orders for an inquiry were issued and a four-member committee was set up on April 3.

After recording the statements of the office-bearers of the society and inmates, the committee found that the complaint received on the child helpline against supervisor Manish Arora was genuine and a police case was registered against the accused.

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