The Child Welfare Committee has initiated an inquiry into alleged sexual abuse of minor boys at a south Delhi children home run by an organisation headed by National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander.
The alleged sexual abuse took place in February 2012 but came into light only on Monday after Niharika Popli, a former employee of the home — Umeed Aman Ghar, near Qutub Minar —lodged a complaint with the committee. Popli alleged that three boys were “sexually abused” by older boys in the home and no action was taken against them.
In a statement, Anwar ul Haque, who is in charge of the home, said the three boys were expelled from the home for “unwanted sexual advances”.
“Although the allegation that the three children tried to kiss the younger children against their will which caused them discomfort, could not be fully established, it was decided to give the smaller children the benefit of doubt and expel the older children from the home,” the statement read.
Claiming that it was not the first case of sexual abuse in the home, Popli, in her complaint to CWC, said the older children had been sent to other shelters and could return to Umeed.
She alleged that the victims were not counselled.
Haque, however, said all precautions were taken after the incident came into light.
Around 105 former street children stay in the home run by Aman Biradari, an organisation run by Mander. It also ties up with the Delhi government to provide education to out-of-school children.
Around 90 students now go to regular schools. “Many children have homeless parents whom they regularly visit, but some children have no families,” the statement read.