Delhi

Rampant abuse at shelter home

A public hearing in progress at the shelter home.—Photo: Special Arrangement

A public hearing in progress at the shelter home.—Photo: Special Arrangement  

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Residents talk about “deep and constant fear” of assault

The rape of a six-year-old girl staying in a shelter home near Bangla Sahib Gurdwara — the Delhi government-run Bangla Sahib shelter home — last month seems to have been the tip of the iceberg, with women residents hinting at rampant physical and sexual abuse at the shelter home.

Speaking out during a public hearing at the Bangla Sahib shelter home recently, women spoke about the “deep and constant fear” of assault.

“We will never sleep in this shelter. I have a young daughter and I am constantly worried about her safety and security,” said Ramkali, a woman staying at the shelter home.

The Centre for Holistic Development (CHD) and other organisations organised a public hearing on the issue of physical violence and recent rape of the girl child.

Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) — responsible for all shelter homes for women in the city — said: “We have been trying to reach the rape survivor, but she’s untraceable. An organisation approached us for the public hearing, but we had many cases lined up that day and couldn’t attend it. However, we will do our best in this case.”

Sunil Kumar Aledia of CHD said: “Before conducting the hearing, a survey was conducted on the condition of the shelter home. We found that residents were beaten up by security guards of the shelter home, women were harassed and the residents frequently abused by the care-giver. They are under constant threat of sexual harassment and have been evicted from the shelter home.”

“The Bangla Sahib shelter home has one home for children, two for women and three porta cabins for men. It is occupied by 300 persons, including more than three pregnant women and 10 school-going children, much beyond its actual capacity,” added Mr. Kumar.

Kamla Gopalchari, who has been living in the shelter home for 16 months, said, “Security persons consume alcohol within the shelter premises and there are pregnant women who do not receive treatment,” she added.

Ramkali said: “Once I was feeding my child and a person was taking pictures. The person accused of raping the six-year-old child has been doing this for quite a while. Even the security personnel were aware of this, but refused to take any preventive step.”



“We will never sleep in this shelter. I have a young daughter and I am constantly worried about her safety and security,” said Ramkali, a woman staying at the shelter home.



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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:21:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/rampant-abuse-at-shelter-home/article7627243.ece

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