Child Welfare Committee, Thrissur, has sought action against the manager and chief trustee of an old age home at Velur near here for alleged harassment of children.

At a press conference here on Friday, CWC chairman P.O. George said 12 children (aged between one and 12 years), including four orphans, were residing at the institution that has licence only for operating an old age home.

The CWC had received many reports of child rights violations against the institution from various agencies including ChildLine, Velur Primary Health Centre and Erumappetty police, said the CWC chairman. The manager, who claimed to be a former marine engineer and a bachelor, was running the home.

The CWC visited the institution on April 16 and found that children there were made to live in sub-human conditions, he said.

Two women had alleged that their children residing in the institution were molested by the manager.

The record maintained at the institution listed the names of children under the head ‘servants’.

“Many inmates complained of physical, mental and sexual harassment against children. The CWC rescued the children on April 25. The rescued children were given temporary shelter at the Government Children’s Home and the Government Mahila Mandir, Ramavarmapuram,” Mr. George said.

Contrary to his claim of being unmarried, the manager later informed the CWC that one of the girls rescued from the home was his daughter and demanded her custody. “The man claimed that the mother of the girl was a mentally-ill inmate of the home and had abandoned the child soon after delivery. He produced the birth certificate of the child as proof for his claim,” Mr. George said.

The CWC chairman said the girl sheltered at the Mahila Mandhir was released and sent with the manager on May 25, on an order issued by the District Collector.

The CWC has sought police action against the manager. It was also planning to move the court against the District Collector’s order to release the child.

When contacted, District Collector P.M. Francis said he had issued the order after verifying the relevant documents to prove that the girl was the manager’s daughter. “The CWC has no right to send a nine-year-old girl to the Mahila Mandir where older women are sheltered. The minor girl needs the care and protection of her parent. The CWC can challenge my order legally,” the collector said.

The Child Welfare Committee said it had received many reports of child rights violations against the institution.