Four girls try to flee from second floor of juvenile home using bedsheet as rope, three caught
The girls lived on the second floor of the Prayas building, which is located near Batra Hospital. While three of them had been referred to the home less than a fortnight ago, one had been living here for close to two monthsdelhi Updated: Jul 22, 2017 22:35 IST
Four teenage girls braided bed sheets and dupattas together into a rope and tried to escape from ‘Prayas’, an institute of juvenile justice in south Delhi’s Ambedkar Nagar, in the early hours of Saturday.
While one of them managed to escape and remained untraced through Saturday, three others were caught within minutes of their escape. The traced girls were found to have injured themselves in their attempt to escape and had to be hospitalised.
Explaining what drove the girls, aged between 13 and 15, to attempt an escape, deputy commissioner of police (south-east) Romil Baaniya said that they admitted to have been feeling lonely at the correction home and wanted to return to their loved ones.
Incidentally, two of these girls were earlier reported to have been ‘kidnapped’ and had refused to return to their parents after being found by the police. One of them had even ‘married’ her boyfriend. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) had subsequently sent them to Prayas.
According to Prayas founder Amod Kanth, the parents of the two other girls had refused to accept them. He claimed there was nothing lacking at the juvenile justice institute run by him and insisted that one or more of these girls had a “tendency to run away, even from their own homes”.
The girls lived on the second floor of the Prayas building, which is located near Batra Hospital. While three of them had been referred to the home less than a fortnight ago, one had been living here for close to two months. The four girls were among around 50 minor girls lodged here.
According to a woman who grew up at this institute and now works as a staff here, the incident happened around 1.30 am on Saturday. As other girls in the home were sleeping, these girls braided some bed sheets and dupattas together to make a rope that would help them climb down from the second floor of the multi-storey building.
“They tied the rope to the balcony grill to escape. The girl who was the last to climb down happened to slip and fall, severely injuring her back, neck and shoulder,” the woman said, based on her interaction with the girls who failed to escape.
The other girls too sustained minor injuries, but the four decided to go ahead with their escape. The presence of a security guard in the sprawling campus did not prove a hindrance as they scaled the boundary walls and landed on the main road around 200 metres ahead.
But luck ran dry for them within minutes, as a few policemen passing by spotted them and suspected they could be from Prayas. Three of the girls were caught and handed back to the Prayas authorities, but one girl managed to scoot.
The three girls who were caught, however, had to be rushed to AIIMS trauma centre for treatment of their injuries. Two of them were discharged soon after, while the last girl continues in the hospital.
Hindustan Times briefly interacted with some staffers and residents of Prayas on Saturday to learn that these girls were not happy with the daily chores they had to perform. “If we live here, it is not too much to ask us to perform our own chores. But these girls did not want to do any work,” said an inmate.
Occupants of the home include minor girls sent in by the police and the Child Welfare Committee, girls rescued after being trafficked, the homeless, orphans and those who refuse to return to their families.
Around two dozen occupants of this home attend schools and colleges outside. But none of the four girls involved in the latest incident were pursuing any course, mainly because they had recently been moved here.
The police have registered a case of kidnapping and have begun a search for the girl who is at large.