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Pregnancy at orphanage: All 44 children now shifted out of Vidyavati Ashram

The Women and Child Welfare Department has shifted out all 44 children from Vidyavati Ashram,the orphanage where a 13-year-old girl was recently found to be pregnant,to Antar Bharati and SOS Balgram nearby.

The Women and Child Welfare Department has shifted out all 44 children from Vidyavati Ashram,the orphanage where a 13-year-old girl was recently found to be pregnant,to Antar Bharati and SOS Balgram nearby. The department has issued orders that the orphanage cannot function until the inquiry is over and stringent action will otherwise be taken against the directors.

Deputy Commissioner Women and Child Welfare,Ravi Patil,said even as the children (19 boys,25 girls) have been shifted to other orphanages in the area,they would continue to study in the same school so that their education does not suffer.

District women and child welfare development officer Suvarna Pawar said they sealed the orphanage as investigations are on. “We had shifted all the children out of the ashram by November 25. The orphanage can no longer operate without our orders,” she said.

Earlier,after the pregnancy came to light,the girl was shifted to an orphanage in the city. The boy suspected to have made her pregnant was sent to Shivajinagar observation home.

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“Action can only be taken post the DNA test after delivery. The girl is receiving treatment at Sassoon General Hospital,’’said Pawar.

The department,meanwhile,issued notices under section 23 against the orphanage owner for not taking adequate care.

“After this case,we have readied an entirely new set of directives for operating orphanages in the state. We have put together 35 conditions for operating any orphanage. This has been forwarded to the state government for approval,’’ said Patil. Besides the new clauses,increase in staff to carry out checks has also been proposed.

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The department was caught unawares last month after the Child Welfare Committee reported the case of the six-month pregnant girl. Following this,the department issued directives that girls and boys who are over 10 years of age be housed in separate homes rather than in one home as in this case. Child Welfare Committee member Anita Vipat said there were also claims of some children having parents. “We have asked all people who have admitted children to this ashram to appear before the Committee. There would a thorough inquiry conducted on each child,’’ said Vipat.

First published on: 28-11-2011 at 03:50:19 am
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