Four arrested for sexual abuse of deaf, mute girls

Last Updated 18 May 2013, 19:32 IST

Two differently abled girls at an orphanage in Gandhi Nagar were allegedly sexually assaulted by the employees of the Aawaz Foundation, a Kanota-based NGO near Jaipur.

Four staff members of the NGO have been arrested by the police.

The two speech and hearing-impaired girls had been sent to the residential school run by Awaaz Foundation in January for speech therapy.

Three other girls had accompanied with them.  When they returned on April 30, the girls’ home warden reportedly noticed injury marks on their body.  Suspecting physical abuse, she immediately informed the state’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

During the counselling and interaction sessions with all five girls, which lasted over two weeks, it was concluded that two of them had been repeatedly sexually abused while others were physically tortured at the NGO.  Based on the complaint filed by the CWC, the police arrested four employees of the NGO—its warden, supervisor, accounts clerk and the clerk's wife—in an early-morning raid on Saturday.

Awaaz Foundation supervisor Alpana Daswani was arrested for allegedly ignoring the girls' complaint when they tried to convey to her the trauma they were undergoing.

“Five girls have complained that they were abused at Awaaz Foundation. All victims were speech and hearing-impaired,” said Biju George Joseph, the Police Commissioner of Jaipur.
Over 100 students were staying at the NGO-run residential school, which has been functioning for the last six years.

Activists from the People's Union for Civil Liberties staged protests outside the orphanage, demanding strict action against the culprits involved in the case.

(Published 18 May 2013, 11:45 IST)

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