In a shocking incident, girls as young as 6-year-olds were allegedly by staff of a shelter home Delhi’s Dwarka area. The FIR has been registered by the police, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) said on 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 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. Maliwal immediately called the Dwarka deputy commissioner of police, who sent a team of senior officers to the home and recorded statements of the children. An FIR has been registered by the Delhi Police against the staff, the DCW said.
The DCW chairperson and the members of the expert committee stayed in the home till early morning, the statement said.
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.