On Sunday, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has termed the alleged sexual exploitation of teenagers at a shelter home in Odisha as a matter of shame and demanded the arrest of staffs, who are involved in it.
Ms. Gandhi while taking to reports, was in Daman in the Union Territory of Diu and Daman, said that “Sexual exploitation was taking place in all shelter homes for children and women in Odisha, which is a matter of shame. This (a shelter home in Dhenkanal district) is not such a big place and there were not so many people that they could not check them every week or month.”
She continued, “If the case was of one or a few shelter homes, it is still understandable. But in all? The shelter homes were also being used for conversion. Then why are you running the shelter homes?.”
Ms. also said that the staffs of the shelter homes should immediately be detained in jail and simply not sacked for “criminal” offenses.
Ms. Gandhi also ordered for a probe of all shelter homes in Odisha, a fortnight after the accused sexual abuses of teenage girls in such an accommodation came into focus in Dhenkanal district.
An NGO-run sheltered home in Dhenkanal, which is located 106 km away from the Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar was sealed on last Sunday and two people, including the shelter home managing director, has also been detained following the allegations of sexual misconduct of its inmates.
During Ms. Gandhi’s day-long tour of Daman, she supervised for anganwadis and checked whether healthy food being served to pregnant women and children in schools and centres.