Cuttack: The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) raided the Dream Shelter Home in Choudwar on Friday and rescued 42 children.
The shelter home was being run by Good News India, an NGO. CWC members, led by its chairperson Mandakini Jena and Choudwar police conducted the raid on being told about opening of a shelter home there.
The shelter home’s director, Deepak Kumar Parmanik, said there are no children inside the sealed campus. But, the children’s guardians allege Parmanik moved the children to rented houses in a nearby village as they had their examinations.
Sources said the shelter home was operating illegally and nearly 50 children stayed there. While 42 have been rescued, the whereabouts of the rest are yet to be ascertained. Further investigations are on.
In December, a shelter home at Beltikiri in Dhenkanal district was sealed after allegations of sexual, mental and physical harassment of inmates there came to the fore. Later, the state government ordered closure of 22 shelter homes across the state, all of them being run by Good News India.
In February, the Orissa High Court rejected the bail plea of NGO Good News India’s managing director Fayaz Rehman and assistant director Udit Lama in connection with sexual harassment at a shelter home in Beltikiri. They were arrested in December, allegedly for sexually exploiting girl inmates at the shelter home run by the Good News India at Beltikiri.