The ongoing probe into allegations of sexual abuse of inmates of Apna Ghar childrens home in Rohtak have revealed that two Congress legislators recommended Jaswanti Devi,who ran the shelter,for a Haryana award.
Based on recommendation letters by Meham MLA Anand Singh Dangi and Rohtak MLA Bharat Bhushan Batra,Jaswanti,jailed and facing charges of immoral trafficking,torture and bonded labour,received the state award for empowering women and for her contribution to the society.
The letters,copies of which are with The Indian Express,were issued in February 2011. In his letter,Dangi said: Jaswanti is a deserving applicant for Indira Gandhi Mahila Shakti Award. She is doing good social work for welfare of destitute,distressed women and children. I strongly recommend her name for this award.
Batras letter was on similar lines. I am pleased to recommend the name of Smt Jaswanti (social worker),as a deserving applicant for State Level Indira Gandhi Mahila Shakti Award. She is able women (sic) and child social activist and her work in the field of social sector is highly loudable (sic). I wish her all success in life, he wrote.
These,and other,recommendations not only got Jaswanti the award but also financial aid for her NGO,Bharat Vikas Sangh,which ran Apna Ghar.
The day Batra signed his letter,Haryana State Social Welfare Boards member,Dr Satela suggested Jaswantis name for the award. I am highly impressed by the social work of Smt Jaswanti for women empowerment… She is a strong applicant for Indira Gandhi Mahila Shakti Award. She is doing a commendable job for welfare and upliftment of downtrodden,exploited women and children. I strongly recommend her name for this award. Sateela wrote.
And two months before the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights raided Apna Ghar on May 9 and rescued 94 minors,mostly girls,the Integrated Child Development Services,Rohtak,had recommended Jaswanti for the Women Empowerment award,2012.
In a letter dated March 6,2012 The Indian Express has a copy to Deputy Commissioner,Rohtak,the ICDS officer wrote that Jaswanti is a social worker. She is running Bharat Vikas Sangh. Thus,we recommend her name for the award.
Based on this letter,a long heirarcy of officials went on endorsing Jaswantis achievements. And then it was revealed that she had allegedly forced inmates of the shelter into prostitution.