Mumbai women welfare home is a hell: committee
Posted on: 12:06 PM IST Nov 29, 2012
Mumbai: A few days ago reports of women inmates being sexually abused at the Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruha (women welfare home) in Mumbai had shocked the metropolis. Following the allegations a committee consisting of Superintendent of Police Dr Rashmi Karandikar and psychologist Dr Harish Shetty was set up by the Bombay High Court, which has now submitted its report. The report states that the welfare home in Mankhurd area is like hell.
At least 28 women had ran away from the welfare home with one of them daring to came before the media and narrate her trauma. The Bombay High Court had then set up a committee and ordered an investigation into the allegations.
The girl had claimed that some men used to regularly visit the welfare home and used to torture them. She had alleged that one of the girls had lost her mental balance for resisting the men, while two of them were killed and their bodies never recovered. The girl who made the startling claims has been missing now.
Karandikar and Shetty visited the shelter on November 12 and within a few hours of their investigations, it became clear that all was not well there.
There were 204 women in the welfare home at Navjeevan. Although the women were sent to the welfare home for making then fir to lead a normal life, the committee found that inmates found it worse than a jail.
According to the committee several men had entered the shelter in the last week of October. When the men were spotted by the women, then instead of helping and reassuring them the caretaker went missing. The girl who appeared before the media had claimed that the woman in-charge of the shelter never helped them and told then that she would not get involved when the men came.
The report also questions how a girl living in the welfare home became pregnant. The girls was sent to JJ Hospital on September 12, 2012 where she tested negative for pregnancy but on October 23 she underwent another test at the shelter home where she was found to be pregnant. She went missing on October 26. The entire chain of events suggests that she became pregnant during her stay at the shelter home. There have been several reports of the presence of men, recovery of liquor bottles, non-maintenance of the admission register and the disappearance of several women raise suspicion.
The committee found that there was no internal enquiry when three girls went missing. Even the locks of their barracks were found to be intact. The records in the admission register were not updated and neither the photographs of the girls were taken.
The attendance was taken at night and the caretaker used to trample the sleeping inmates. The committee reported that 33 inmates showed suicidal tendencies, 10 tried to kill themselves while one attempted suicide in the presence of the committee members.