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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on May 24, 2017, expressed its serious concern over the poor condition of Children’s Home for Girls at Nagpur and has issued a notice to the Government of Maharashtra, through its Chief Secretary, calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

The move follows the report of the Commission’s Special Rapporteur S Jalaja, who visited the ‘Home’ on May 15, 2017. She pointed that the ‘Home’ meant for the care and protection of girl inmates, itself seems to be in the need of care and protection. In the suo motu cognizance, the Commission has observed that the picture which emerges from her report is that poor children are, perhaps, being subjected to more humiliation at the ‘Home’ than outside. It lacks basic infrastructure even after more than 60 years since it was set up. The Homes, setup by the state agencies, are meant for the children who require shelter, care and protection, an NHRC release said.

The ‘Home’ has not received grants from the state government. The food supply for the inmates has come to a standstill. The only source of food for them is “Akshayapatra”, a food programme run by ISKON. The building is totally unprotected and unguarded. Three posts of Caretakers are lying vacant. Out of fear, all girls are forced to sleep in one hall of the building, said the NHRC release.

Four girls reportedly ran away from this ‘Home’ recently and one of them was subjected to gang rape by some miscreants and undergoing treatment in a local hospital. There is no guard/ watchman posted at the gate of the ‘Home’ to regulate the visits of the outsiders. No CCTV cameras have been installed on the premises.  The Superintendent of the Children’s Home, with the assistance of only one Clerk and a Caretaker, appears helpless with regard to the protection of the girl inmates. The institution was set up by the Government of Maharashtra in 1963 for the protection of girls.

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