The Shah-e-Jeelan Orphanage, Srinagar operating in Dalgate area of the city has been accused of “abusing and beating” the inmates for “petty” reasons.
The orphanage run by a former policeman in Kohna Khan area of Dalgate houses approximately 30 male and four female students in dire, insanitary conditions. The orphanage authorities are physically and verbally abusive towards them.
While conducting a psychosocial assessment of orphans of Valley I first visited the orphanage after some of its employees came to her home for collect donation.
I saw the conditions there are pathetic. Some children were sick and they were wearing tatters, I noted that a child had developed Heamaturia, a condition which leads to the release of blood in urine, and had high fever.
I found something worse happening over there when I visited the orphanage with a team of psychiatrists to conduct a psychological survey amongst the children and then providing them with appropriate counsel. When I arrived I saw the warden, hitting one of the boys, Ameen (name changed) to a point where he started bleeding. Upon asking why the boy is being beaten up, one of the employees of the orphanage said they suspected the young boy of smoking.
In another room, other children had been punished and were standing in rows, crying. At first I could not tell him (warden) anything. He stopped hitting the boy when I came but when I asked him what was wrong, he said I did not know how hard it is to take care of an orphan child. When I tried to know the reason of beating from the boy, I was told that he tried to run away from the orphanage multiple times.
The child showed various symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as insomnia and certain aggressive tendencies. He also expressed that he didn’t smoke but was too scared to explain and described his recent beating as the focal point of trauma.
I spoke to people within the orphanage and I found that the warden has been physically and verbally violent towards the children.
I have also filed a formal complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and have appealed for immediate action against the person running the orphanage. SHRC has referred the case to the court of law for further proceedings.
In light of the above facts, I demand that:
1) The Shah-e-Jeelan Orphanage in Dalgate Srinagar be shut down.
2) Rehablitation of the children residing in this orphanage.
3) The issue be investigated and the Orphanage caretaker punished for child abuse.
4) The Govt should put in a mechanism in place to increase accountability from other Orphanages.
This is an important issue. I want our children to be protected from abuse. Please support me in this cause.
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