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Discarded by society, they were easy prey for predator

The HT report of HIV positive minor children being sexually abused by the caretaker of the NGO shelter they were living in has sent shock waves among locals.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2012 01:31 IST
Sunil Thapliyal

The HT report of HIV positive minor children being sexually abused by the caretaker of the NGO shelter they were living in has sent shock waves among locals.

A team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had raided NGO Drone Foundation located in Maruti Kunj on Tuesday and rescued fourteen children.

The Gurgan police booked the NGO caretaker and board member Ankur Gupta on charges of rape and his mother for conspiracy. An FIR has been filed undersections376/376C/376F/120B/506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The children have been shifted to the Naz Foundation in Delhi. “The children will be presented in court on Thursday. Our counsellors have been talking to the kids and all of them have shared their ordeal. They are adjusting well with other children. Their version seems to corroborate what NCPCR has found,” said Anjali Gopalan, executive director, Naz Foundation.

“HIV positive children suffer a lot as they have to face discrimination and harassment from society. Now, this sexual harassment case would make life traumatic for the minor girls who were sexually abused,” said Bharti Sharma, an independent member of the team that conducted the raid.

“If allegations of sexual harassment are correct then certainly we, as a society, have to introspect and see how insensitive we have become,” said Raj Kapur, former sarpanch of Bhondsi village.

Harassment and discrimination is not new for the children of Drone Foundation. They were earlier subjected to similar harassment when they were thrown out of a private school in December 2010 after they were found to be HIV+.

After that, management of the Drone Foundation alleged that eight of its male children, aged between three and 12, were facing discrimination in a government school in Bhondsi village.