Children’s institute for HIV + in Gurgaon under scanner after 2 boys allege torture
The boys, whose parents are HIV Positive, reportedly escaped on December 14 and went to their aunt’s home in Delhi’s after they were allegedly beaten by the caretaker of the private illegal home.gurgaon Updated: Jan 03, 2018 17:21 IST
A Child Care Institute (CCI), the only shelter home in Gurgaon for HIV-infected children or whose parents are HIV Positive, has come under the scanner of the district administration after two minor siblings recently ran away from the institute. The CCI houses 28 children, including girls and boys.
The boys, whose parents are HIV Positive, reportedly escaped on December 14 and went to their aunt’s home in Delhi’s Rohini after they were allegedly beaten by the caretaker of the private illegal home. The incident came to light during the counselling session at the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) after the children, aged 13 and 14 years old, were produced before it on December 18.
During counselling, the boys told the CWC officials that one of the boys, who scored less in exams, forged the signature of the caretaker and was caught by the teacher. He was allegedly brutally assaulted by the caretaker after the teacher complained. The boy, along with his brother, fled the home on December 14.
“Please don’t send us back to the same place, the bhaiya beats us, puts red chili powder in eyes, forces us to drink liquor and often misbehaves with the other children at the home. He threatened my parents that your boys have raped before fleeing from the CCI,” the 14-year-old boy told CWC officials.
On December 14, the officials at the CCI informed their parents that the boys fled the home. Their mother called Childline, a child helpline, informing them about the disappearance of her kids. The parents had left their kids, who are healthy, at the home three years ago so that they could study and be independent.
“We received a call on 1098 (Childline) from Delhi at 8pm on December 14 that two children are missing from Gurgaon CCI and they wanted our help to find the two boys,” said Rishi Kant, who runs Shakti Vahini, a Childline in Gurgaon.
Meanwhile, the boys reached their aunt’s place in Rohini and narrated their ordeal to her.
“After two days, the mother called again and informed they are reaching Gurgaon with her two boys,” said Kant
The District child protection unit (DCPU) officials came to know about the incident on December 18 when a team visited the CCI for inspection after receiving an application for registration of the institute. During inspection, the DCPU officials were told the boys had gone to meet their mother as she was critical. On their return from inspection, the DCPU officials found the boys at their office as they were brought there by the Childline.
“The boys had minor bruises and were in tears. They refused to go back (to the CCI) and said if we will be sent to the same place, they will no longer be alive,” said Shakuntala Dhull, chairperson, CWC Gurgaon.
After recording their statements, the CWC sent the reports to the DCPU and she mailed the Gurgaon police to take action under JJ ACT. Fifteen days have gone by but there has been no progress in the case. The boys were shifted to another CCI in Gurgaon, said Dhull.
Meanwhile, the police said they are conducting investigations and will take action as per the reports under JJ Act.
The CCI officials admitted that the caretaker often assaulted the boys and his conduct was not good with the children.
“As soon as we got the information we punished the caretaker. He was immediately terminated from our institution. We have trained our staff and will ensure no such act is repeated at our home in the future. We have also written to the CWC regarding the same,” said the CCI officials.
State coordinator for Bal-Bigul, a Haryana Alliance on Child Right, Arijit Adhikary, they have written to the district administration, DCPU and CWC several times regarding the illegal HIV home but no action is taken by any of them.
First Published: Jan 03, 2018 17:21 IST