The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Friday said they found cases of sexual abuse and unhygienic conditions at a shelter home for girls run by an NGO in southwest Delhi’s Dwarka, during a surprise inspection.
The commission said employees at the house allegedly abused the girls by administering chilli powder in their private parts as punishment.
Girls of a shelter home in Delhi were allegedly abused by its staff, following which a complaint was registered by the police, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) said Friday.
During an inspection of shelter homes in Delhi on Thursday, the DCW members interacted with girls aged 6-15 to understand their experience of residing at a shelter home, a DCW statement said.
Some elder girls at a shelter home in Delhi’s Dwarka area alleged that the female staff put chilli powder in their private parts as punishment. They were also forced to have chilli powder, it said.
Any sort of defiant behaviour from the children would be met with “serious and grave punishment” because of which they had become submissive, it said.
The teenage girls were also forced to wash utensils and clothes, clean rooms and toilets, and perform other kitchen chores, as the home did not have adequate staff. There was only one cook in the home for the 22 girls and staff, and the quality of food was not good, the statement said.
The teenage girls complained that they were beaten with scales for not keeping their rooms clean and not listening to the staff. They were not permitted to go home during summer and winter vacations, it said.
The committee members shared the allegations with DCW chief Swati Maliwal who immediately reached the home at 8 pm.
The DCW chairperson and the members of the expert committee stayed in the home till early morning, the statement said.
According to the statement, the expert committee found during the visit that the inmates were allegedly forced to do household chores and abused by the staff.
“The older girls in the group said they were would be forced to do all chores such as cooking and cleaning toilets since the home did not have sufficient domestic staff. They were also asked to take care of the younger girls,” the DCW said.
“The committee was appalled at the forms of punishment meted out to young children and teenage girls in the home. The girls mentioned that the home staff forcefully administered chilli powder to them in their private parts as punishment. Other forms of punishment included beating with scales for not keeping the rooms clean. The girls were not permitted to go home during summer and winter vacations,” the statement said.
The commission has informed the Delhi government’s women and child department about the condition of the home, which is to set up an enquiry in the matter.
A team of DCW counsellors as well as police have been deputed in the home 24/7 to ensure the safety of the children. The DCW shall continue to monitor the condition of the shelter home, it added.
Earlier, the DCW had set up an expert committee in consultation with the Delhi government on shelter homes to inspect various private and government-run shelter homes and give suggestions for their improvement.