NEW DELHI: India has ordered the inspection of at least 9,000 shelters for abandoned and orphaned children after a wave of sex abuse scandals shocked the country, a minister reportedly said.

Maneka Gandhi, the country’s women and child development minister, told The Indian Express newspaper in an interview published on Wednesday that the probe would include background checks on the owners and managers of homes.

Authorities have been jol­ted into action after rep­orts this month uncovered the sexual abuse of more than 30 girls at a state-funded shelter in Bihar state.

Police this week detained five people over alleged abuse at a shelter in Uttar Pradesh state where 24 girls were rescued after one escaped to tell investigators of mistreatment at the home.

“I have asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to ensure that the social audit is completed for all childcare institutions within the next 60 days,” Gandhi said, according to the newspaper. The inspections will look at basic amenities and living conditions for children, she added.

A 2017 government study revealed that half of the estimated 9,000 childcare institutions in India were unregistered.

The minister acknowledged there may be other unrecorded homes and called for the creation of central shelters for women and children in each state. “That’s the only way we can keep them safe,” she told the Indian Express, adding that government funds could be given for new homes.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Back to politics
Updated 29 Nov, 2022

Back to politics

PDM and PTI must realise that neither will get what they want if they keep fighting bitterly at every turn.
Election delay
29 Nov, 2022

Election delay

OF recent, leaders from the ruling PML-N have been dropping hints about a possible delay in general elections after...
Sugar woes
29 Nov, 2022

Sugar woes

IT’S that time of year again when cane growers get anxious over the delay in the commencement of the new sugar...
1971 in retrospect
Updated 28 Nov, 2022

1971 in retrospect

The point of no return came when the military launched Operation Searchlight in March 1971.
Gender-based violence
28 Nov, 2022

Gender-based violence

IT is a war without boundaries and seemingly without end. A UN report on femicide released on Nov 25, the...
Battle against dacoits
28 Nov, 2022

Battle against dacoits

THE Punjab police is clearly fighting a formidable, and so far losing, battle against the criminal gangs based in ...