POKHARA, Nov 10: An unscrupulously run children home has been found to be keeping children who are not orphans. District Children Welfare Committee (DCWC) raided Everest Children´s Home last week and rescued eight risk-prone children some of whose parents are still alive.
According to Child Rights Officer, Bharat Raj Baral, five children, out of the eight rescued, are not orphans.
Stating that children whose parents are still alive were also kept in the children´s home, Baral said that some unscrupulous people take advantage of children.
He also informed that four children have already been handed over to their respective parents on Thursday. The rescued children--Raju Kshetri, 7, and Suraj Tamaing, 6, of Chitwan, Alisima Kumal, 8, and, Lajras Tamang, of Nawalparasi--have been handed over to their parents.
“The children home are allowed to keep only those children whose parents are no more and who are needy,” said Baral adding, “It is against the code of conduct and policy for children homes”.
The DCWC raided the Children home based in Baidam of Pokhara-6 after learning that the children home was being used as a center to disseminate Christianity.
After a meeting chaired by Chief District Officer, the rescued children were sent to children homes considered to be safe.
“We sent the children to Three Angels Nepal and Student Education Development Organization. After the parents of some children showed up with proof to claim their children, we handed their children to them,” Baral said.
However, some of the rescued children like Sumitra Lama, whose mother is very poor, still need to be kept at a children home.
Baral informed that the children were mistreated at the Everest Children Home. “They were subjected to physical punishment if they committed any mistake,” he said. According to him, the children were also coerced to adopt Christianity.
The proprietor of the Everest Children Home, Jyoti Gurung, had turned up to the CWIN asking to return the children. “We sent her back saying that her children home is not a safe place for children,” said Baral.
In the last few months, some foreigners have been working in the Everest Children Home. Baral hinted that the children were also prone to sexual abuses at the ill-managed children home. “Though they called it a children home, there were foreigners living as paying guest,” Baral added.