Five children from Manipur have been rescued from a distressing situation at a school in Nashik, Maharashtra.
The rescue operation followed reports of severe punishment and mistreatment faced by the children, raising concerns about violations of child protection laws.
The children, originally from Manipur, were brought to Nashik with promises of free education at the Shri Swami Narayan English Medium School.
However, their parents raised alarm when they learned of the harsh conditions their children were facing at the school.
Speaking to the media on Friday at Social Welfare Department, director Ng Uttam said that parents of the five children reported that their children were being subjected to harsh punishment and torture, which is in clear violation of various provisions of child protection laws.
It has also come to light that there are other young children, including girls who were transported to Nashik with the same promise of providing free education along with the five children.
He also highlighted that the Supreme Court of India, in its judgment passed on September 1, 2010, in the matter of Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu Vs Union of India, WP (Cril) No. 102 of 2007, had passed an order for a blanket ban on sending children below 12 years or those at Primary School Level outside the state for education.
In view of the above facts, the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur requested the Commissioner of Social Welfare, Government of Maharashtra to rescue the five children at the earliest and to provide information on the other remaining children reportedly admitted in the school.
Consequently, DCPU Nashik rescued five children from Shri Swami Narayan English Medium School, Nashik, Maharashtra; they had reported about the five children to the Child welfare Committee, Nashik on February 3.
DCPU Nashik should visit Shri Swami Narayan English Medium School, Nashik and carry out an inspection regarding the issues about harassment of the children and inform CWC Nashik, Uttam said. The DCPU concerned will take up further course of action in this regard, he added.
CWC Nashik handed over the five children to the representatives of the Director, Social Welfare Department, Manipur led by Deputy Director (Children Programme), Social Welfare Department, government of Manipur on February 8.
The director appealed to the parents and guardians of the state not to sign any blank paper while sending children for studies, and also not send children without knowledge of any concern of the government department or child welfare committee.
While talking with the children, it is known that 20 children between 9-15 years including girls went together. However, only five were able to come back while some were sent to Gujarat. Moreover, when they reached the school, about forty children from Manipur were in the Ashram, the director said.
The director further informed that the department has asked for more details about other children for rescue.