Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tribal girls abused, raped in Chhattisgarh govt hostels

Tribal girls abused, raped in Chhattisgarh govt hostels

by Mar 29, 2013

At a time when India has passed a landmark anti-rape bill to curb the growing menace of sexual violence against women, the grim reality of tribal girls from Chhattisgarh shows that the situation on the ground is far from ideal. An IBN7 investigation revealed how tribal girls were routinely sexually abused in government run schools and ashrams in remote corners of Chhattisgarh.
Girls were raped and physically abused by the hostel authorities in several cases, the girls admitted on hidden camera. The shocker came when medical tests in January 2013 confirmed 11 girls were sexually abused in Jhaliamari Kanya Ashram in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.
A Chhattisgarh government advt. announcing the government run ashrams. IBNLive.
A Chhattisgarh government advt. announcing the government run ashrams. IBNLive.
The ashram came into the news after the death of a 12-year old in the school hostel. Official reports suggested that the girl had died due to a severe case of jaundice though on hidden camera the concerned doctors admitted that the girl did undergo a pregnancy test.
Eight arrests were made after the death of the young girl sparked an outrage. Among the arrested were the teachers, hostel warden and the security guard of the Jhaliamari Kanya Ashram.
Not just that, a 17 year old girl from the same ashram was forced into a sex racket by her own hostel warden Anita Thakur. Incidentally, Anita Thakur was awarded the best hostel warden award in 2013 by the Raman Singh government. It was only after there were protests from several quarters that the police arrested and filed an FIR against her.
What is alarming is the fact that routine sexual abuse went unnoticed for four years when hostel guidelines clearly specify weekly medical check ups for the young students residing in the hostels. The IBN7 investigation revealed that there was no monitoring mechanism at the district level regarding the health check up of these students.
And yet these ashrams were touted to be model hostels and a safe haven for tribal children when they were launched in 2007. This project – Adarsh ashram and chhatravas yojana – received huge funds from the Central government.
The government has promised that a fast track court will be set up to resolve the issue as soon as possible. But the parents who send their children to these schools are not satisfied. “If it can happen to other children today, can the school authorities ensure that it does not happen with my child tomorrow?,” a concerned parent said. With school wardens themselves turning perpetrators, there is little hope that they can cling on to.

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