In the wake of the Karjat and Balgram cases, which saw some debate on the management of women’s institutions, Minister for Women and Child Development Varsha Gaikwad is keen on having women superintendents deployed at all shelter homes in the city.
“We have zeroed in more women positions in these homes and are keen to take charge so that the management is streamlined. With cases of molestations emerging, we have decided to deploy women officials at these homes,’’ she said.
Earlier, Maharashtra State Women’s Commission chief Susiben Shah had stressed for more women to come forward for special hearings that had been undertaken by the Commission at various divisions across the state.
Reacting to the Karjat case where minors were abused, she said that she was set to discuss the matter with the women and child development minister to ensure that women were appointed as superintendents at all these places. “I will discuss the proposal with the minister and we hope that we can make it mandatory,’’ said Shah. With several cases of sexual harassment being reported from shelter homes for women and children, she said strict action be taken against the management as well. The shelter was running illegally at Takve village in Karjat taluka had 32 inmates in the age group of 4 to 15 years.
The crime came to light when one of the inmates informed her mother who approached the Raigad Child Helpline which thereby complained to police. Pune-based social worker Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe of Pune Childline, who is a complainant in the case, said the children were forced to have sex with each other and with the accused and the act was even “filmed”.
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“If they resisted, the victims were forced to eat dog excreta and were locked up. If they threw up, they had to eat the vomit,” she alleged. Karjat police said at least five inmates, aged between 11 and 15 years, had been sexually abused.