People lose faith in goodness of orphanages

Stories of sexual abuse, ill-treatment of children tarnish image of homes for children in Capital

An increasing number of people are losing faith in the institution of orphanage. Stories of sexual abuse and ill-treatment of children have tarnished the image of these homes for children  in the Capital.

A recent report by an NGO, which revealed shocking details of sexual abuse of children at an orphanage in central Delhi, has added to this mistrust.

Many people say they had never been able to trust Delhi’s orphanages.

“Owners of some orphanages and NGOs fill their pockets with the amount we donate. The government needs to keep an eye on these centres as they are running a big racket behind closed doors,” says Samarth Sharma, a stock broker.

Jatin Kalsi, a businessman from Jalandhar who frequently visits Delhi, used to donate to an orphanage every month. He has also been associated with an orphanage for girls in the Capital.

“I am not sure if I will continue donating any more. How can I be sure that they are genuine? It is sad to read and hear that minors are being raped and sexually assaulted by other inmates. Is any authority keepoing a check on such activities? I am not sure,” he says.

According to stakeholders, Delhi residents must join hands with the government to monitor the activities of orphanages.

“I am shocked to hear such horror stories. I have several friends working in the social sector. We should approach the government and work closely with officials to ensure that orphanage authorities do not continue with such malpractices,” says Rajneesha Shah, a city resident.

Incidents of sexual abuse in children homes are tarnishing the Capital’s image, say child rights activists.

“There are several foreign tourists who look for opportunities to work for upliftment of children who live in orphanages. After hearing about these incidents, they would not want to volunteer,” says Rahul Khanna, a businessman.

Akanksha Bhargava, a young entrepreneur, says government’s apathy towards the issue has led to this situation.

“This incident has shaken people. I am sponsoring a child in Bhopal and I send money for her every month. Does she get the money? I am not very sure. Why are NGOs and people who are running homes for children so secretive about their cause?” asks Bhargava.

Kunal Kishore, who heads a public relations firm in Delhi, says people should not lose hope.

“ Honestly, we have been donating hefty amounts and one incident should not stop us from working for a good cause. I get several calls from NGOs asking me to donate, but I am sceptical. I want to help children but these NGOs are not transparent,” adds Kishore.

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