ONI Bureau: Taking serious note of the alleged sexual harassment of inmates in Beltikri Shelter Home in Dhenkanal district, the Union Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday.
The Union Minister ordered the Union WCD Secretary & National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for a detailed inquiry into the matter.
“It is a matter of great concern that the incident only came to light when some of the girls residing at the Dhenkanal shelter home confided in the media and accused the shelter home in-charge Simanchal Nayak and NGO head Faiz Rahman of sexual abuse. It is shocking that such horrors were being carried out in a location situated only 10 KM away from the Dhenkanal district Clollectorate and Superintendent of Police (SP) office,” Maneka Gandhi stated in a letter.
“It is further understood that the Odisha Women and Child Development Minister and District Child Protection Officer have confirmed that the license for this shelter home had expired last month. This is a gross violation of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) and highlights a lack of oversight by state government authorities on statutory compliance for running a shelter home. I am horrified to learn the ‘Good News India’ NGO in question is currently operating more than 25 such shelter homes in Odisha. This incident is revealing of a deep and utter failure on the part of the state government in taking basic precautionary measures for the safety and welfare of children, leading to such a heinous incident,” Gandhi added.