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Odisha orphanage using children for begging shut down

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Angul, July 11:

Collector of Angul district in Odisha Sachin Ramachandra Jhadav today ordered shutting down Jagannath Sishu Vikas Sevashram in Kuio village on charges of engaging its child inmates in begging.

The district administration also ordered the arrest of the the head of the Sevashram.

The district administration issued the order after District Social Welfare Officer, member Child Protection Cell and District Child Welfare Officer submitted their inquiry report on the incident to the district collector.

The Sevashram used to get destitute children from far flung districts of Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj and nearby Dhenkanal with a promise to build their lives by providing them with shelter and education but used them for begging instead.

Sources said while the children in the home will be put up in other registered sevashrams in the district, others will be sent back to their parents.

The shocking revelation of the Sevashram engaging its inmates for begging came to light after the Angul district administration rescued two children, who were allegedly thrown out of the Sevashram for refusing to beg and the report was highlighted on Kanak TV and OST.

The little inmates of the Sevashram had alleged that they were forced to beg by the orphanage authorities and abused and thrashed when they declined to do so.

Shockingly, the secretary of Jagannath Sishu Vikas Sevashram, Bhagban Hembrum had admitted of inmates were indeed asked to beg for alms.

The Sevashram had been operating in Kuio village since 2010.

The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on July 9 admitted a petition filed by human rights activist Padipta Nayak in the case.

OHRC acting chairperson Justice BK Mishra and Commission member BK Pattanaik have sought an immediate report on the case from the Angul collector.