Ghaziabad: Children from shelter home stopped from visiting public park

On Wednesday afternoon, the district officials and the police also held a meeting with Sector 3 RWA members and issued strict instructions to residents to refrain from such acts

noida Updated: Aug 23, 2017 20:40 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad,dharna,discrimination
Ghaziabad , India - Aug 23 In an alleged case of discrimination, the locals from Vasundhara sector-3 asked the 16 children of shelter home to vacate a public park. The district administration has issued warning and said that no one can deny entry to kids in Ghaziabad,India, on Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017. (Photo by Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

In an alleged case of discrimination, 16 minor children of a shelter home were asked by locals to vacate a public park in Sector 3, Vasundhara, on Tuesday evening. The incident did not go down well with the shelter home officials and the children and staged a ‘dharna’ outside the park against the local residents.

The shelter home, Lal Bahadur Shastri Sudarshan Bal Ashram, is registered by the district administration and is managed privately by a trust. It is taking care of 16 children, including specially abled ones. The facility is run for children who are rescued by the administration or those whose parents have deserted them. The children are sent to the facility by the child welfare committee.

The orphanage moved to Sector 3 in May from its earlier property in Sector 1, Vasundhara. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

“The locals told us that these children cannot be allowed entry to the park as they will “spoil their children”. I told them that no one can disallow entry to the park which is a public facility. However, they were adamant and even threatened to get our shelter home shut down. I, along with the children, staged a ‘dharna’ at the park. Later, administration officials and police were informed and they intervened in the matter,” said Anupam Sharma, the caretaker of home.

The orphanage moved to Sector 3 in May from its earlier property in Sector 1, Vasundhara.

The alleged discrimination against minor children did not go down well with the district authorities. On Wednesday afternoon, the district officials and the police also held a meeting with Sector 3 RWA members and issued strict instructions to residents to refrain from such acts.

“It is a park belonging to the municipal corporation. We have spoken to the municipal corporation officials to speak to the locals and prevent them from acting in such a manner. In case the locals fail to sort out the issue, legal action against residents will be initiated. The RWA has no power to deny entry to children to the park. This is the second such incident which has taken place during the past couple of months,” said Rajnish Kumar Pandey, district backward class welfare officer.

“The shelter home is a residential facility and it does not operate for any commercial purposes or profit motive. It is running as per the government norms,” Pandey said.

Some of the residents Hindustan Times spoke to were not willing to have a shelter home in a residential locality.

“The shelter home cannot run here as it creates a nuisance for families. It is in violation of norms. The park is for our children and we maintain it. Our children will get be spoiled if they come in contact with these children,” said a resident who identified him as “Trivedi” but refused to divulge his full name despite repeated attempts.

However, RWA president Vinod Sharma attended the meeting with officials on Wednesday and vowed to sort out the issue within a day or two.

“I attended the meeting with the shelter home staff, district officials and the police. We are against any sort of discrimination against children or other persons. There were a few locals who opposed the idea of the shelter home children visiting the park. I have assured the shelter home staff not to worry and I will personally intervene and sort out the issue. If I am not able to pacify them, the law can take its course,” said Vinod Sharma, RWA president, Sector 3.

However, the administration on Wednesday issued strict instructions to locals to abstain from such practices.

“The children at the shelter home are under the custody of the district administration. No one can deny them entry to a park. I will visit the area and will also depute the subdivisional magistrate to get the issue sorted out. We will take legal action if required,” said Ministhy S, district magistrate.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 20:40 IST