KARNATAKA

13 children run away from boys’ home

A meticulously planned operation by 13 boys to flee from the State Home for Boys on Hosur Road was executed on Monday morning. However, two of the children were found within an hour and taken back to the home. A search is on for the others.

The children are all in their teens. The boys are from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra. They were either rescued child labourers or those who had fled from their homes and found on the streets. After a month of planning, they fled the home for boys on Monday around 3 a.m. after cutting a rod of a window using a blade. It is believed that they got the blade by bribing one of the security guards. “The children cut the rod while other children were washing vessels so that the noise would not draw the attention of the staff,” a source said.

Of the 13, the Wilson Garden police found one at Dairy Circle. Police sources said that the boys repeatedly requested not to be taken back to the “jail” they had fled from. Meanwhile, child rights activists have said that this incident should serve as a wake-up call to the Department of Women and Child Development to bring “systemic changes” and improve conditions at the boys’ home.

Executive Director of BOSCO George P.S. said that the home is short-staffed and there is a delay in repatriation of the children to their families. “Age and language appropriate programs have to be designed to keep them occupied all through the day. A compact and well-designed program under the supervision of child sensitive staff is the need of the hour,” he said.