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Dhenkanal Shelter Home Shame: Raids Begin On ‘Good News India’ Shelter Homes Across Odisha

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03 December 2018


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Bhubaneswar: Following the sealing of the unregistered shelter home run by Good News India in Dhenkanal’s Beltikiri area and rehabilitation of its inmates, raids were conducted on its branches in Puri, Rayagada and Bhadrak to investigate the authenticity of the so-called ‘shelter home.’

The Dhenkanal shelter home has been in the limelight for the past two days as a result of sexual abuse allegations against its founder and the in-charge. While both the accused have been arrested and forwarded to the court, DGP RP Sharma said that they might be brought in remand for further interrogation. He also said, “We have directed the SPs of all districts to conduct preliminary investigation if they suspect anything fishy or spot any negative activity. The report of those investigations will be then submitted to the concerned authorities.”

As per the Juvenile Justice Act, all child care institutions should be registered under the Act. Women and Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal had earlier informed that around 270 children homes across Odisha have been registered till date and applications of few others were discarded for not fulfilling the required criteria. Good News India was among the latter. GNI has around 22 such homes across the State and few others outside the State.

Samal said that all the District Collectors have been asked to shut down shelter homes running without the required registration under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and rehabilitate the children staying there. The Collectors have also been instructed to take stringent action against the violators.

Soon after that, a 4-member team of Puri Child Welfare Committee (CWC), on instruction of the District Collector, conducted raid on another shelter home of GNI situated at Penthakata with around 84 inmates. Reportedly, the district administration had served a closure notice to the shelter home back in 2016.

Shaktipada Mishra, a member of CWC said, “We interacted with children and a woman counselor from the District Child Protection Unit was also present for the girls. Their statements were also recorded too. Further investigation is current underway.”

A similar raid was conducted in Rayagada today under the leadership of CWC chairman Rajkishore Sahoo. A four-member team visited the GNI branch there to substantiate documents, cross check records, verify the standard of care. Simultaneous raid was also condcuted in GNI's Tihidi branch in Bhadrak.

The reports of the raids are to be given to respective district collectors, said officials.

Also Read: Supreme Court Rejects Odisha Govt’s Plea For Staying Polavaram Work

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RP Sharma, DGP, Odisha

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Shaktipada Mishra, Member, CWC, Puri

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Rajkishore Sahoo, Chairman, CWC, Rayagada

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