In the wake of a case in which minors were being allegedly sexually abused and ill treated at Karjat Shelter home, the state Women and Child Development (WCD) department has decided to get all shelter homes registered within the next two months.
“The home was in existence for years, but it was not known even to the local police. We (WCD) plan to get all shelter homes registered within 60 days, failing which, the homes will be considered illegal,” said Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary, WCD.
Last week, a Pune-based social worker discovered that children at Chandraprabha Charitable Trust were forced to have sex with each other and the accused, and that the act was often ‘filmed’ as well.
“If resisted, the victims were forced to eat dog excreta and were locked up. If they threw up, they were allegedly forced to eat their vomit. During preliminary investigation, Karjat police has found that at least five inmates, aged between 11 and 15, were sexually abused.
The WCD, which is in the process of issuing a government resolution in the next few days, also wants the existing shelter homes to re-register. According to Uke, re- registration is necessary to ensure there is uniformity, and so that a database can be produced under one system without any glitch.
“Registration can be carried out online. This process has been introduced in keeping with the Juvenile Justice Act. As per the Act, all shelter homes were to
be registered within six months. But that was not followed,” Uke added.
“Failing to register, the homes would be declared illegal. And keeping children in a home without any legal sanctions will amount to kidnapping. The department has decided to issue directions to all the police stations to keep a close check on the shelter homes within their jurisdiction,” Uke said.
Shelter homes run by religious institutions will also be included under this new process, he added.