Shelter Homes, not much of a ‘Shelter’ for them.

In the recent times, a very horrid, unsavoury and nail-biting misdeed became a breaking news when about Eleven women who were living in shelter home ‘Swadhar Grih’ in Bihar went missing. The said shelter home was run by ‘Barjesh Thakur’, an owner of an NGO named Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti. The Women who went missing used to stay at the shelter home which was run by an NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, also owned by the prime Accused of this case Barjesh Thakur.

There were allegations that more than 30 girls used to be raped repeatedly for months. The Girls were identified as of girls aged between 7 – 17 years who all became the victim of this mental and sexual assault at very large proportion. The major accused who is the proprietrix of this scandal, Barjesh Thakur, has reportedly been booked for another case in addition to this one.

The case came into light when Social welfare Department in Bihar filed an FIR based on a social audit which was conducted because of anonymous complaints of sexual abuse received from many girls at these shelter homes. The Women and Child Development Ministryin relation to this took an action by sealing these shelter homes and rescuing more than 40 girls after the discovery of this sex racket.

According to the medical reports, the girls who lived in the shelter home used to be drugged, sexually assaulted and raped repeatedly on daily basis. Many of these girls who were not reported, have suffered from speech – impairment due to the mental trauma caused by encountering such horrifying experiences. They are shakened and traumatised to their core. In addition to this it was also revealed from the Medical examination of the minor girls that even their private parts were being burnt by Cigarettes.

On the verge of this, after considering this crime as of very grave nature the investigation is now taken over by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which registered this case under Sections 120(B), 376, 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC)and under Section 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

Even the Hon’ble Supreme Court in many cases while expressing its resentment to the fact that women and girls are getting raped in every corner of this nation cited that such acts are making the Society ignominious and dishonourable to live. Not even a single day has passed when our nation did not shook after hearing of abduction, rape and then murder of an 8 year old girl, Asifa in village near Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir. The incident became a national as well as a global news and created an appalling and a shameful environment for the women of our country. According to the National Crime Bureau Data, the Rape cases every hour in our country is exacerbating in a large figure as the time is passing. Even when the nation is on the verge of making employment available to each and every person, a woman in our society is still struggling for her rights to live freely in a safe environment.

In relation to all these crimes being reported throughout the nation the present government has made ‘Major Amendments’ in the prevailing criminal law making the punishments more serious for these distasteful acts.

Well, the series of expeditious actions against such a horrific offence was anyways needed. We have to ‘Save’ it before there is nothing much left to ‘Save’ and the right time is now. We along with the system need to act resolutely in all fronts to fight such diabolical acts.

-Arvind Singh Dhaliwal

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