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USWC directs separate dining for girls & boys in orphanage

Thursday, 02 December 2021 | PNS | Dehradun

In the wake of a recent incident in which a minor was found five months pregnant in one of the oldest orphanages of Dehradun, the chairperson of the Uttarakhand State Women Commission (USWC), Vijay Barthwal has directed the orphanage administration to make separate dining arrangements for girls and boys. She opined that restricting their interaction will minimise the chances of such incidents in the future.

On Wednesday, Barthwal conducted an inspection of the said orphanage along with law officer Dayaram Singh and sub-inspector Sangeeta Nautiyal. She said that the orphanage’s administration informed her that a total of 49 children including 26 girls and 23 boys aged five to 19 years were living there. She said that the 17 year old girl who was allegedly raped by a boy of the same age was living there since she was five years old. The accused was also living in the orphanage since he was seven years old. Barthwal said that the administration informed her that the doctors visit the children every month for a medical check-up and the employees from the orphanage take them to the hospital in case of any medical emergencies.

Talking about the minor, the USWC head said that the girl complained of having headaches and some stomach issues in October and was taken to the hospital the same day. Barthwal said that after the girl felt sick again, she herself revealed her situation on November 26 after which the orphanage administration informed the authorities concerned. Barthwal also asked other girls whether they had any prior knowledge of the incident which they denied. After the inspection, she directed the orphanage administration to hire a female counsellor for the counselling of girls. She also directed them to keep the children segregated by making separate seating arrangements in the premises and not allowing them to have meals together. Barthwal told The Pioneer, “I recommended separate dining space for girls. If we restrict interactions between boys and girls, it will minimise the chances of such incidents happening in the future.”

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