A boy, Rahul (name changed), who was put in an After Care Home at the age of 15 when he should have ideally been put up at a Children Home as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, has alleged physical assault in the Delhi Government-run home which he claimed led him to even attempt suicide last year.

Narrating his tale of woes, Rahul, who had fled his home at Chhapra in Bihar at a very young age, and has also been brought up at care homes run by Don Bosco and Prayas, said while he always intended to study hard and do well in life, in the year 2000, when he was just 15, he was wrongly put in an After Care Home at Alipur in North-West Delhi.

Here Rahul said he was ill-treated by the home staff when he raised the issue of poor living conditions and diversion of rations by the staff. The boy, who turned 18 a few days ago, said on one such occasion he was even lifted by the neck by a staff member.

Rahul also claimed that as he was put in the After Care Home, where children have to pay for their stay, he had to do odd jobs to support his stay. Finally, one day, he claimed he even tried to commit suicide last year but was saved by other inmates.

Councillor and founder of NGO Sampoorna Shobha Vijender, who brought Rahul before the media, said Rahul’s case has highlighted several wrongs.

First, he was put in the After Care Home when he should have ideally been put in the Children’s Home, in which the care and stay of the inmates is free.

She also claimed that as per Rahul he was never produced before the area Child Welfare Committee, which was another violation of the norms.

Also, she claimed when he represented his case to the senior Department officials and the Minister, no cognisance was taken of the matter.

Delhi Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia said the incident had not been brought to her notice. “It is a serious allegation and I will get it thoroughly investigated,” she added.

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