Eighteen minor girls were rescued from an illegal shelter home run by a non-government organisation at Nangal Raya in West Delhi on Thursday. The rescue operation was led by Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairperson Amita Tiwari along with the local police and activists of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

According to the BBA team, their activists reached the home around 2 p.m. and were shocked to see the condition in which the girls were kept. The children’s home was without any ventilation, direct sunlight and water supply. Two small rooms – which were more like store rooms – had the belongings of all the children along with a compact sleeping place.

The entire home was infested with cockroaches, rats and insects – making it a difficult place to live in. One of the elder girls who was rescued in the operation was found scolding the young girls and threatening them not to open their mouth under any circumstances. She told the inmates to speak good about the home and say that they lived in a comfortable state, said BBA in a press statement.

Most of the children were allegedly trafficked from Bihar, Orissa, Nagaland and Nepal and aged between 6-16 years.

The BBA team said that one could sense that the children were influenced as the wardens were continuously telling them to have faith in god. Six-year-old Rashmi (name changed), one of the rescued children, said: “My parents died long time back. Some lady from my village brought me here. I do not know for what reason I am here.”

Nandita (name changed), another rescued girl, said: “I have not taken bath for two days. There has been always been water scarcity here. I came here two years back.”

As there has been a violation of several provisions of The Juvenile Justice Act in this case, the CWC ordered to rescue these children. As per Ms. Tiwari’s order, the girls have been shifted to Nirmal Chaaya Girl’s Home.

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