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Where Should We Keep Them Safe?

On perusal of National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights (NCPCR ) social audit report put up before the Apex court, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday, August 28, stated  the condition of shelter homes as ‘frightening’ and remarked that no one is interested in doing its duty and the centre passes the buck to the states. In an affidavit filed before the Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, the NCPCR, represented through its advocate Anindita Pujari, submitted that out of a total of 2,874 children’s homes studied till now, only 54 institutions have got positive reviews. Also, the report says out of 185 shelter homes which were audited, only 19 have all required records of children residing there.

It is pertinent to mention here that Supreme Court had sought social audit of children’s shelter homes running in the country after a large-scale abuse of girls were reported from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Amid reports of rampant sexual abuse at shelter homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, an alleged harrowing incident of sodomisation of junior students by the seniors and staffers has reportedly emerged in a Haryana Based Gurukul in a village of Rohtak district. The traumatic incident came to limelight when on Raksha Bandhan, falling on Sunday, August 26, parents visiting their wards to celebrate the festival, were told by some students about their repeated sodomisation in the Gurukul by their seniors. Angry parents alleged that even after their hue and cry before the Gurukul management, the school did not pay any heed to their complaints. Later on, in the complaints lodged with the police, some parents alleged that their wards were picked up from the Gurukul hostels at night by their seniors and forcibly performed the unnatural act with them.

SHO Sadar, Manjit Singh confirmed before the media that a case under section 202, 323, 34, 377 and 506 of IPC and section 4 of POCSO Act has been registered after receiving complaints from some students and their parents.

When we visit the website of this Gurukul, in the opening itself we hear the chanting voice of Arya Samaj’s Gayatri Mantra, OM BHUR BHUVA SWAHA, which reflects the scene of an ancient value provider institute. The Gurukul claims that the primary aim of this Gurukul is the evolution of the strength of CHARACTER and stunning personality in the students. It also claims that the Gurukul is inculcating HIGH MORAL VALUES and a secular outlook to prepare the future generation for this 21st century world of competing nerves.

It is evident that the matter will be investigated in the due course of time, the culprits might be convicted and the school management may rusticate the erring students, but here arises the question that whether the black stain on the face of the Gurukul, a so-called representative of ancient Hindu educational system, would fade down? Has the claim of the Gurukul to impart education that inculcates character and moral values in their students become ineffective? Have these institutes claiming to impart education on ancient Hindu Values lost and forgot the basic agenda of Hindutva educational system? It is also a matter of investigation whether these so-called Gurukul’s are really the carriers and representatives of the ancient Hindutav Educational Ashram system or they are just money fetching institutes like other privately managed schools flourishing here and there due to the failure of the government managed institutes? Time will ultimately search the answers to these questions. But it seems that now the Haryana Government will have to start “ BETA BACHAO, BETA PADHAO” campaign also along with its “BETI BACHAO, BETI PADHAO” programme.

By Jag Mohan Thaken

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)