The Delhi government has called a meeting on Monday to discuss the course of action after cases of alleged serial sex abuse at a Central Delhi orphanage came to light.
The government said it has taken note of the stories of physical and sexual abuse narrated by kids living in the orphanage to NGO Haq and is planning to shift them to a state-run shelter.
Also, an independent survey will be carried out to identify unregistered child institutions running in the city. As most private orphanages are unregistered, the absence of data makes it difficult to monitor them or take punitive action.
“We will take decisive action in this case. I have called a meeting tomorrow (Monday) to discuss the issue with the law department. Our priority is to protect children and we will take action soon,” said Kiran Walia, minister for women and child development.
“An independent inquiry was conducted by our committee. A number of children have confirmed cases of sexual abuse. Many were too afraid to say anything. We are looking for an alternative shelter to shift some of the victims,” she said.
There are 61 licensed child institutions under Section 34 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000. According to sources, over 30 unregistered orphanages are running in the city.
The government’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) had carried out a separate inquiry into the matter after an 11-year-old girl inmate had died. It had said there was a need to check why kids whose parents were alive were living in the orphanage.
“This is not exactly an orphanage as most of the children living here have one or both parents alive,” a police officer said.