By Maya Palit
The Delhi Commission for Women has come down strong on a Delhi shelter, which rehabilitates rape survivors and children who have been rescued from brothels, for its apparent tolerance of extreme human rights violations against the girls living there.
An inhabitant of the Children Home for Girls wrote a letter to the Human Rights Commission recently, complaining that she had been assaulted. When nine others wrote in with similar complaints, the DCW chief Swati Maliwal visited the shelter for a surprise inspection and found that lots of the girls there had bizarre things to say about the way they were being treated there.
They alleged that the staff beat them up repeatedly and denied them food, checked their panties to see if they were on their period, injected the girls by force with unidentified substances which apparently messed up their menstrual cycles or led to other bodily changes. (Some of the girls apprently claimed that the injections were meant to induce puberty, but whether they are similar to the oxytocin injections that were previously being used on trafficking victims hasn’t been confirmed.)
After a second inspection, where Maliwal found that some of the children had been beaten up for alerting the Human Rights Commission, she brought it up with the chief minister. An investigation has begun against six members of the staff at the home, but although the FIR ordered the immediate transfer of the accused staff members, apparently they haven’t left the home yet.