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Nepal Women, Children and Human Rights Forum, an NGO, rescued 13 children belonging to the Tamang community in Rasuwa, from Bal Kalyan Kendra, a child welfare centre at Swoyambhu, Kathmandu, on Monday. They had been lured away from their gullible parents, who were convinced their wards would get a better life in Kathmandu. Instead, once in the capital, the tiny tots were forced into begging for food and money for the welfare centre. The ill-fed children also often took to stealing just to keep themselves from starving.

According to the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), nearly half of the 454 child welfare centres around the country fall under D category, which enlists welfare homes that fail to meet even basic requirements. But the number rescued on Sunday is only the tip of the iceberg of all the children forced to live in unhealthy and degrading conditions of many child welfare centres. The Sunday rescue was an interesting case of an NGO exposing evil going-ons of another NGO, thus highlighting the ineffectiveness of government bodies formed to protect children.

Encouragingly, the raid also suggests that not all NGOs operate only to mint money. In this light, collaboration between NGOs working for children and concerned government bodies is a must in order to expose and punish NGOs that are engaged in nefarious practices.