19 minors rescued from ‘illegal’ child care centre

Kathmandu, May 7

Nepal Police, with the support of Central Child Welfare Board, rescued 19 minors,14 boys and five girls, from an unregistered child care centre at Golfutar today.

Nine of the children rescued are aged between five and 10 years and were brought to the capital city from far-flung districts.

Fourteen children were brought from Kalikot district, three from Humla, and one each from Dolpa and Banke districts. Jay Bahadur BK operator of the care centre, who brought all those children from different districts, has been evading arrest for the past two months, according to police.

Police, CCWB officials and some guardians of the children said the operator of the child care centre had collected money ranging from Rs 50,000 to 300,000 from the parents. Care centre operator Jay Bahadur BK of Kalikot district had collected money from the illiterate parents saying that their children would be provided free education till Grade X.

According to police and CCWB, the centre named ‘New Karnali Hostel’ was not registered with any government bodies.

Metropolitan Police Circle, Maharajgunj, had conducted the rescue operation acting on a tip-off from locals of Golfutar. According to police, children of the care centre kept in a rented house were deprived of full meal a day for the past one month.

The children’s life at the care centre was miserable, according to locals.

Three workers at the centre, who were hired by the operator, have also been arrested.

No details of the children rescued from the house have been maintained by the operator.

Police also said the operator had not cleared the rent of the house for the last five months.

According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Phadindra Prasai at Maharajgunj circle, BK had collected up to 300,000 from the parents of the children.

Ram Bahadur Budha, who had sent his two daughters to the care centre, told THT that he agreed to send his daughters with BK after he assured him of his daughters’ safety and their bright future.

BK had also promised him that his daughters would be sent to a renowned private school for education up to Grade X. “BK had secured Rs 300,000 from us saying it was only the 25 per cent of total expenses for my daughters’ education and that remaining 75 per cent would be provided by foreigners,” he added.

CCWB officials said that they had received some information about Jaya Bahadur BK’s involvement in child trafficking racket, but they previously lacked substantial evidence to prove it.

Spokesperson for CCWB Ram Bahadur Chandra said they had started the process of handing over the children to their parents. “Children without any parents will be sent to genuine child care centres,” he informed.

Some of the parents have filed police complaints against the operator BK and three other staffers of the illegally-run care centre.