122 rescued from illegal child care home

Kathmandu, May 17

Central Child Welfare Board, in coordination with National Centre for Children at Risk, local level representatives and police, rescued a total of 122 children from Sukedhara-based Aishworya Children’s Home being operated without meeting minimum standards prescribed by the existing law.

As many as 77 boys and 45 girls were rescued on Wednesday. The children hail from Humla, Dolpa, Rasuwa and Nuwakot. The children’s home had collected up to Rs 100,000 from each parent or guardian, promising a bright future for their child.

CCWB, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens said the children’s home was being operated in contrast to requirements and terms and conditions set forth in the Standards for Operation and Management of Residential Child Care Homes 2012.

“The children’s home had not maintained personal record files and other documents of any child. It was also found to have separated the children from their natural parents. Living condition of children inside the house was deplorable and there was no provision for medical treatment for the children,” said Ram Bahadur Chand, a CCWB official. Some of the children were also deprived of their right to education. It also failed to meet standards of their reintegration with their parents or guardians, according to Chand.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Phanindra Prasain at Metropolitan Police Circle said Pramod Ghimire, director of the children’s home, was arrested for legal action. “Pramod’s mother Nirmala is one of the key persons of the children’s home. We have yet to take her into custody as she is undergoing medical treatment at Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre for cardiovascular disease,” he said.

The children’s home was allegedly involved in gross violation of the Act Relating to Children 2018, as well.

A children’s home is allowed to provide care, support, education, health services and security to needy children, especially those who are deprived of parental care and are exposed to risks. However, this child care home had deceived parents or guardians with the promise of better education for their children by separating them from their natural caretakers.

Poor and ignorant families without adequate means of supports for their children were convinced by the offer to send their children to the children’s home.

According to a CCWB report, though a child care home is for orphans and vulnerable children, it has become common practice to send children to such facilities.

Many child care homes are found to be operating either with the support of international organisations or under sponsorship of individual or religious groups.

As of July 2017, there were 567 child care homes in 44 districts, housing 16,536 children.

Some children in such facilities were admitted with insufficient or no documents. Many child care homes were found to have no proper documentation for rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration process.

On May 7, Nepal Police with the support of CCWB, had rescued 19 minors, 14 boys and five girls, from an unregistered child care centre at Golfutar.