Following the sexual and physical assault on a 16-year-old boy in a residential educational institution, ‘Gurukul’, in South Delhi by his teacher last week, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has written to the State Education & Child Welfare Committee (Lajpat Nagar) asking it to indicate the action taken in the case to ensure “safety and rehabilitation of the child and the measure taken against the school in the matter”.
DCPCR chairperson Arun Mathur said on Thursday: “We have written to the two departments and in case we feel that there is a need to do more for the child we will intervene in the matter. The two departments are required to send in their replies by early next week and then we will assess if proper and adequate action has been taken in the case.”
Meanwhile, child rights activist and director of NGO Pratidhi, Raaj Mangal Prasad said: “In this case the child was sexually abused and physically assaulted by his teacher on January 11. A case is registered at the Hauz Khas police station and the accused has been arrested. The child has been restored to the father who wanted to take him back to his native place and the matter was disposed by the Child Welfare Committee.”
“However there is no action initiated against the ‘Gurukul’. We discussed this matter with the CWC, Lajpat Nagar, and the members were of the view that ‘Gurukul’ being an educational institution does not fall under the ‘JJ Institution’ category thus the committee cannot pass an order for action against the school. The committee has also not tried to find out whether other children of the institution were also subjected to abuse which is unacceptable,” said Mr. Prasad.
Stating that this is a case of child sexual abuse in an educational institution with residential facility for children and that it is likely that the accused teacher and/or others might have abused many other children who are vulnerable and easy prey, Mr. Prasad noted: “It is clear that the institution does not have a system of ensuring that there is no abuse, neglect and maltreatment which also includes the staff being aware of what constitutes abuse neglect and maltreatment and how to respond to these.”
The NGO also noted that for any abuse of children in the institution, the management is also responsible and demanded that appropriate action be taken against them as well.