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Lost childhood in juvenile homes

A team of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission, which visited the homes recently and submitted its report to the commission last week, has noted this in its findings, reports Kanchan Chaudhari.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2009 01:58 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

There’s fear. And there’s also a sense of hopelessness.

These were the two attributes found lurking in the corridors of the city’s seven juvenile homes.

A team of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission, which visited the homes recently and submitted its report to the commission last week, has noted this in its findings.

The team members have observed that the situation at the homes has not changed since 2005. That is when the Bombay High Court had appointed a court commissioner to visit these homes.

The team headed by the Commission Secretary Mafiul Hussai comprised Special Inspector General of Police D. Kanakratnam and three officers from the commission, research officer Dr Jayashree Patil, Superintendent G. Ravishankar and Registrar Neena Khaparde.

In its report, the team has listed various inhuman conditions.

Other disturbing observations have also come to light.

The team has found that the house master of the Mankhurd boys’ hostel, Shivaji Kutir, beat up inmates when in an intoxicated state and often made them run errands for him late at night.

An ex-employee of the Children’s Aid Society who had been sacked for sexually harassing inmates, was found to be staying at its Mankhurd premises when the team visited the home.

The team has also noted that instead of throwing him out, there were moves to reinstate him.

The commission has directed the Children’s Aid Society to submit its reply with an action-taken report on the court’s directives.

Repeated attempts were made to contact Chairperson of Children’s Aid Society Annie Shekhar; Secretary of the Department of
Women and Child Development Vijay Satbir Singh and Minister for Women and Child Development Harshwardhan Patil.

None of them was available for comment.