Maneka Gandhi asks MP Chavan to probe sexual abuse at children's home

ST Correspondent
Monday, 7 August 2017

Gandhi has asked Pune Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan to take charge of overseeing children homes in Pune after several instances of abuse against children were reported. Gandhi has requested Chavan to take up this issue in the upcoming Disha (District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committees) meeting as well.

Pune: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has taken note of cases of sexual abuse at Shivajinagar Children's Home, which were reported in May.

Gandhi has asked Pune Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan to take charge of overseeing children homes in Pune after several instances of abuse against children were reported. Gandhi has requested Chavan to take up this issue in the upcoming Disha (District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committees) meeting as well.

It is understood that Gandhi sent a letter to Chavan on August 3 after a report - the second such instance - of sexual abuse and children being showed pornographic films through misuse of e-library facilities.

Chavan appealed to people working in the field of children's rights to step forward to take up the responsibility of regularly visiting children's homes. She added that this will help the system in taking stock of facilities provided to inmates and will help identify problem areas. Chavan said that precaution needs to be taken to avoid these cases in the future.

Ghodegaon home abuse cases
More than 10 minors, who were shifted to a Children Home in Ghodegaon in 2015, had said they were shown pornographic films at the remand home.

When the owners at this home took up this matter with Ghodegaon police, an FIR was registered against staffers at the correction home in May this year. According to complainant, the children were abused and shown objectionable films during their stay at the remand home between February 2010 to 2015.

To this, the Women and Child Development Department had launched an inquiry and Commissioner Lahuraj Mali told Sakal Times that the departmental report in this case has been submitted and action is being taken against those who were found to be guilty of dereliction of duty.

Deputy Commissioner of WCD Department Ravi Patil added that the report was submitted on July 28 and a show cause notice has been issued to the then District Women and Child Development officer for failing to act on the complaint submitted to her. Patil further added that that it was pointed out that both the superintendents did not act even after the matter was brought to their notice.

Chavan obliges
-- While speaking to Sakal Times, Chavan said that after the Parliament session gets over on August 11, she will have a detailed meeting with the Commissioner of the Women and Child Development Department.
-- She said she will visit the remand home to probe problem areas mentioned in the letter sent to her by Maneka Gandhi.
-- Chavan said that she will also visit all children homes in Pune district. 

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