NHRC seeks report on illegal child care home in DLF Phase-1
The child welfare committee (CWC) did not take any action against the Child Care Institute (CCI) in question despite knowing that it has been functioning without a registration since July 2015. Thirty children, both boys and girls, lived at the facility located in DLF Phase 1—the only one in Gurgaon that houses HIV-infected children or whose parents are HIV positive.gurgaon Updated: Mar 27, 2018 17:49 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Haryana chief secretary to submit a report within four weeks on the functioning of an unregistered HIV home in Gurgaon. Thirty children, both boys and girls, lived at the facility located in DLF Phase 1—the only one in Gurgaon that houses HIV-infected children or whose parents are HIV positive.
The child welfare committee (CWC) did not take any action against the Child Care Institute (CCI) in question despite knowing that it has been functioning without a registration since July 2015. The CWC acted after the matter was reported to the NHRC in February by child rights activist Arijit Adhikary based on a report in the Hindustan Times on January 3 titled ‘Children’s Institute for HIV+ under scanner after 2 boys allege torture’.
The NHRC notice read: “As alleged by the complainant, the children are staying here for more than three years and no norms and provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 are being followed by the custodian of the children. In spite of having knowledge of the functioning of this unregistered facility since July 2015, have not taken any steps to deal with the situation. The Commission has perused and considered the complaint. The contents of the communication, if true, raise the issue of violation of human rights of the children and require intervention by the Commission.”
No action has been taken against the caretaker, who was accused of brutally assaulting the two boys, even after the authorities wrote to the Gurgaon police.
“When we had visited the CCI on December 18, we were given false information that the two boys were away to meet their families, when they had actually run away from the CCI. I had written to the concerned station house officer reporting assault and sexual abuse of HIV positive girls, which is a violation under the POCSO Act, 2012, and Section 75 and of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. These are cognizable, non-bailable offence under the law, but no case was registered despite our regular follow-ups,” said district child protection officer Ritu Rani.
ACP, DLF, Anil Yadav, said a case was not registered as the parents of the victim refused to register a police case.
The district child protection officer added that they are now in the process of closing the CCI run by the Desire Society. “We were not satisfied with its operations and we have started shifting the children to other CCIs,” she said.
“As per the guidelines, the children are in process of being handed over to the CWC. The process will be completed soon and 15 have already been shifted,” said Dr Neelima Atal Mohanty, head of communications at Desire Society.
However, CWC officials have said they do not want the home to close, but to operate in accordance with the norms.
“This was the only home in the district (for HIV positive children) and now it is our responsibility to shift these children. None of them are from Haryana, so that is a challenge as well. We shall prepare a social investigation report of each child before deciding on his/her restoration (transfer to different CCIs) under Section 36 of the JJ Act, 2015. For effective rehabilitation, the DCPU will prepare individual care plan of each child under Section 39 of the JJ Act,” CWC chairperson Shakuntala Dhull said.
•The organisation was not registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
•The home is only registered under the Societies Registration Act in Hyderabad, Telangana.
•The children were sent by Gurgaon CWC to the CCI on February 2, 2015, on the request of CWC, Nainital
• Of the three, an 11-year-old boy died on January 8, 2015, just a month after being admitted to the home. A case of unnatural death case was lodged in the local police station on August 1 last year at Sector 56 police station
•No social inquiry/social investigation report of the children has been ordered by Gurgaon CWC till date