In an inspection carried out by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) at two children homes, Umeed Aman Home for Boys and Khushi Rainbow Home for Girls, the commission has found cases of child sex abuses. These children homes are located in South Delhi and were established by the Centre for Equity Studies. Two teams were formed by the NCPCR led by the Chairperson himself to investigate the matter. Harsh Mander, who was a member of Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council (NAC), is the director of CES.
The NCPCR notes, “It was informed by the Former Member (of the NCPCR) that the said complaint was received in the Commission in 2012 but the matter was not dealt adequately at that time and that the same is required to be looked into in light of present complaint that has been received by the Commission.” The NCPCR during its visit discovered that numerous norms and regulations were flouted at these homes. Covid norms and social distancing were not observed and apart from these, there were other serious violations.
NCPRC found that the Umeed Aman Ghar’s registration was not renewed. There was no adequate counsellor, cook or helper available. There were no records of the recruitment of each staff or work profile, and no medical officer was available on call. The commission observed that “The rooms of the home was not segregated and there was a mingling of minor children with the elder children, which made the minor children vulnerable to abuse and bullying by the elder children.” The NCPCR said, “The response given by the Staff and In- charge of the Home regarding this matter has been observed to be misleading and incorrect which is a serious violation and offence.” Furthermore, the child rights body has stated that it has knowledge of sexual abuse continuing in the shelter home and yet, it was not being reported.
The NCPCR had recommended the Departments of WCD and Education of the Government of Delhi to take a serious view of the matter and initiate an investigation into the serious lapses and violations at the two shelter homes. The NCPCR recommended that an investigation also be carried out against the inspection officials so as to comprehend how these glaring flaws were ignored for so long.
In addition, the NCPCR has also recommended that Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police investigate the multiple sources of funding of these shelter homes and the Ministry of Home Affairs has also been urged to investigate possible FCRA violations. It was also noted that foreign nationals had visited these homes for “voluntary service”, the NCPCR urged the Home Ministry to investigate whether any VISA violations had been committed.