Fact Findings Reports

Intervention in Child Protection Issues (in brief):

 

PVCR-TS interfered in the important cases of child rights violations, especially focusing on the protection rights of children, in order to bring out the facts and ensure justice to the victims.  In this process, PVCR-TS members conducted several fact-finding missions and were involved in several enquiry missions to ensure justice to children.  Below mentioned are some such activities done by PVCR-TS:

 

Adilabad – 2001-12:

 

  • In Narnoor Mandal, the district committee member came to know that a 13 year old girl was being sexually assaulted by her own father for a long time.  The district committee member lodged a police complaint and informed to the media also.  As a result, the police arrested the father and he was jailed.

 

Nalgonda 2011-12:

 

  • In September 2011, the Telugu Daily Newspaper – Sakshi – published a news item about a teacher who sexually abused a 9th standard girl and that the girl had become pregnant.  The district committee, alongwith some Peoples Organizations, visited Charlapalle village of Nalgonda Mandal for a fact finding.  They observed from the school attendance records that whenever the girl was absent, the accused teacher also was absent.  In the fact-finding mission, it became apparent that the teacher had sexually abused the girl.  The district committee gave a complaint to the District Collector, demanding immediate action on the teacher.  The District Collector immediately suspended the teacher and an enquiry was ordered.

 

Mahabubnagar 2011-12:

 

  • At Naayinonipalli village of Peddakothapalle Mandal, public accused one child labour of stealing a wrist-watch and shaved off his head on one side and made him stand in the hot sun and tortured him physically and mentally.  This child labour, who was a boy, was selling clothes in the village festival.  The AP CSS Campaign district committee took up the issue and lodged a complaint in the Police Station and gave complaint to Child Welfare Committee Chairperson and Project Officer of ICDS.
  • The AP CSS Campaign district committee took up the issue of bonded labour in Kodair Mandal and lodged a complaint with the Tahsildar, Mandal Parishad Development Officer, Mandal Education Officer, Special Officer and Police Station.  This resulted in release of 17 bonded labour from 2 villages of Nagulapally and Rajapur. 

 

Adilabad – 2012-13:

 

Intervention in the case of child-mother:

 

In the month of July 2012, a shocking incident came to the notice of PVCR district committee Secretary who is also a member in the district child welfare committee.  It was a case of a muslim girl aged about 15 years who had given birth to her third child.  Both the parents of the girl work as daily wage labourers in a local cinema hall and the economic condition of the family is very bad.  This girl is the youngest in the family and she has 5 elder brothers.

 

Upon enquiry, it was revealed that she had already given birth to two children in the past and those babies been sold to some unknown people by the parents of this girl.  During the interaction with the local muslim community by PVCR members, the local community members shared that the girl’s family is very poor and that the girl had already given birth to two children in the past.  But, during the community level interactions, it was not possible to establish whether this was a case of exploitation by family members for economic gains or case of exploitation by outsiders.  As the family was living in their own community area, it was not possible to have deeper discussions with the family or community members.  Even the girl did not speak a word with the committee members who tried to speak to her.  PVCR members also felt that family members were trying to hide some information from them.  Parents of the girl even tried to make the PVCR members believe that their daughter’s psychological condition was not good.

 

PVCR members came to know that this case was brought to light by one person who had a deal with the parents of the girl to buy the baby.  The initial offering was Rs. 500/- for the baby.  Later on the family was approached by another person who offered Rs. 3,000/- for the baby.  Because of that, the family cancelled their deal with the first person and wanted to sell the baby for Rs. 3,000/-.  Meanwhile, the family was approached by another person offering Rs. 5,000/- for the baby.  The first person who wanted to buy the baby for Rs. 500/- was disappointed and he leaked this matter to the media and it was published in the newspaper.

 

In order to ensure the protection of the baby, the PVCR ensured that the baby was handed over to the Shishu Gruha maintained by the government.  But, the child-mother’s case needs to be followed up in order to ensure protection of the girl.  There is also a need to ensure interrogation of government hospital staff who had arranged the buyer who offered Rs. 5,000/- for the baby.  The district child welfare committee may further take up this case to establish certain facts and prevent further cases happening.

 

Adilabad – 2012-13:

 

Child sexual abuse case exposed:

 

There was a case of sexual abuse of a girl child at ITDA girls’ residential school at Utnoor Mandal of Adilabad district.  The head-master of the school used to abuse girl students by touching their bodies and private parts.  That had been happening for quite some time but none dared to complain about it.  Even some of the teachers of the school were aware of it but they too never complained about it.

 

In the month of July 2012, one girl by name Ragini (name changed) belonging to tribal community who was studying in the school, brought to the notice of other teachers the exploitation and abuse by the head-master.  That matter was leaked to the media and it was published in the newspapers.  Upon seeing the news, the PVCR district committee made a visit to the school and interacted with teachers, victim and other girl students and found that the head-master had been doing that nonsense for quite some time.

 

PVCR members submitted a memorandum to DEO and ITDA Deputy Director demanding – a) immediate ousting of the head-master; and b) to appoint only lady teachers and Wardens in the girls residential schools.  The teachers’ unions and other people’s sanghams also gave similar memoranda to government.  As a result, the head-master was suspended by the government. 

 

Mahabubnagar – 2012-13:

 

Corporal punishment – case booked and teacher was warned:

 

In a case of corporal punishment at a private school at Kollapur town of Kollapur Mandal, a boy was severely beaten by the Teacher for attending the school without school uniform.  The beating was so severe that the child became unconscious.  Immediately the school management rushed the boy to the local hospital for treatment.

 

Some community members who were at the school informed PVCR members about the incident.  Immediately media was taken to the school and in the discussion with school management, they agreed that it was the fault of teacher.  A case was filed in the Police Station at Kollapur against the teacher.  An oral complaint was also given to the district child welfare committee.  The print and electronic media published this news.

 

The next day – the victim and his parents, the teacher, the school management and the local Sub Inspector of Police were summoned by CWC.  The teacher accepted his mistake and also requested CWC that no disciplinary action be taken on him and assured that he would mend his ways.  The teacher also paid all the costs related to treatment of the boy.  As the teacher requested parents also not to proceed with case against him, the teacher was strictly warned by CWC and the case was closed.

 

Adilabad – 2013-14:

 

Issue of a girl child sexually assaulted by her own father at Kubir, Kubir Mandal, Adilabad

 

Lakshmi (name changed) is 12 years old and a school dropout.  Her mother is no more and she has a step-mother now.  She has an younger sister who is also a school dropout.  There are another 3 children in the family who were borne by the step-mother.  Lakshmi’s father Hussain (name changed)  is a casual labourer who cuts fire-wood from nearby forest areas and sells it in the market. 

 

Lakshmi’s father had been sexually assaulting her since past one year.  Lakshmi could not dare to share that with anybody and silently bore the atrocity.  Her father had beaten her severely and threatened to kill her if she discloses this to anyone.

 

One day, in September 2013, Lakshmi observed that her father was trying to molest her sister too.  After seeing that, Lakshmi could not keep quiet.  She gather courage and shared with her brother-in-law as to what was happening to her and how her father is now trying to sexually assault her sister too.  Immediately, her brother-in-law lodged a police complaint at Kubir.  Police summoned the father to the police station and interrogated him.  The father did not confess but he only feigned innocence.  Police also said that father is 55 years old and the girl is only 12 years old and that such a possibility of father sexually assaulting his daughter may not have happened.  Police even went to the extent of saying that the brother-in-law of the girl may have some grudge against the father and hence would have filed a case on him.

 

This incident was brought to the notice of PVCR governing board member from the district who is also a member in the district Child Welfare Committee.  Immediately some PVCR members visited the police station and enquired about the case.  Police said that they would summon the girl too and question her but PVCR members said that they will talk to girl at home.  By the time PVCR members went to the girl’s house, the father, step-mother and her children were not at home.  The neighbours informed that the father shifted them to their relatives’ place.  Only Lakshmi and her younger sister were at home.

 

PVCR members interacted with Lakshmi and got all the details.  They sent her for a medical test and obtained doctor’s certificate.  Doctors confirmed of the atrocity on the girl.  PVCR members gave a copy of the medical certificate in the police station and demanded that case be booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 and Nirbhaya Act.  Apart from this, other relevant IPC sections were also mentioned.  All this was done on 6th October and the father was arrested on 10th October and sent him to jail.  The case is in the court now.

 

Lakshmi was sent to Children’s Home at Adilabad.  Her sister continues to stay with the step-mother.

 

Adilabad – 2013-14

 

Issue of a girl child sexually assaulted by maternal uncle at Tadihathnor, Utnoor Mandal, Adilabad

 

Ratna (name changed) is about 10 years old and was staying with her parents at Mumbai.  The family is from Utnoor, Adilabad but had migrated to Mumbai for livelihood long back.  In March 2013, the maternal uncle of Ratna went to Mumbai and requested the parents of Ratna to send Ratna with him to Utnoor to take care of his wife who is pregnant.  Hence, Ratna was sent to Utnoor with her maternal uncle.

 

Ever since Ratna went to Utnoor, her maternal uncle started to sexually assault her and even threatened to kill her if she reveals it to anybody.  His assault on the child continued for nine months.  It was only in November that some neighbours got highly suspicious about the grown stomach of Ratna and enquired further.  The enquiry revealed shocking instances of how Ratna was regularly assaulted sexually at home.  Ratna was nine months pregnant when the neighbours found it and this news was published in the local media.

 

The district PVCR members immediately took up the case and as the PVCR governing board member from Adilabad is also a member of district Child Welfare Committee, the maternal uncle of Ratna was summoned to appear before the CWC at Adilabad.  When the CWC members questioned him, the maternal uncle confessed to the crime.  Then, a police case was filed and the perpetrator of the crime was sent to jail.  This case is in the court now.  PVCR members demanded that apart from other sections of IPC and Nirbhaya Act, a case should be booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.

 

Since the girl was 9 months pregnant, she was shifted to State Home at Hyderabad.  Only after the delivery, she will be sent to stay with her parents at Mumbai.  Her parents were not at all aware of what was happening to their daughter and they were shocked when they came to know about the incident.

 

Mahabubnagar 2013-14:

 

Death of a girl child at Panchavati private school at Mahabubnagar town

 

Panchavati is a private English medium high school at Mahabubnagar town, which has been functioning since the past about 10 years.  Shyamala (name changed) was studying in the 9th class in the school.  She hails from a middle class family.

 

On 27th December 2013, the school management punished her to standing in the school throughout the day as she did not pay the school fees.  After standing in the sun upto lunch time, she went and had midday meal.  After having the meal, she complained of stomach pain and the teachers asked her to rest in the verandah.  Shyamala lied down on a table in the verandah.  Upto evening, nobody bothered about her.  When Shyamala did not get up even in the evening, teachers took her to the government hospital and the doctors declared that Shyamala was brought to hospital dead.  Doctors also said that Shyamala died of sun stroke.

 

As the news spread, the local people ransacked the school.  Initially, police arrested the school management but the same day police facilitated talks between parents of the girl and school management and as a result the case was withdrawn.  The school management agreed to give five lakh rupees to the victim’s family.  It was not known if there were any pressures on the parents to accept the compensation and withdraw the case.  Finally, police filed case on the people who ransacked the school and booked some persons.

 

PVCR members submitted a memorandum to the District Collector and demanded action to be taken on the school management.  The District Collector assured of initiating action on the school management as per the existing rules. 

 

Nalgonda – 2013-14:

 

Mining issue at Sarampeta, Marriguda Mandal, Nalgonda District resulting in displacement of children and community

 

60 Vaddera families were engaged in stone cutting at Gidde Banda hillocks where they used to cut stones and sell.  Apart from stones for concrete purpose, they also used to cut granite stone in a limited quantity.  The four hillocks in the area have white and cream colour granite.  Buyers from surrounding areas used to go there and buy the stones.   These 60 families have been working there since generations.  Though they had asked government for the licence, that was not granted to them.

 

In the year 2013, a mining company by name “Sridevi Minings” obtained license from government for mining in that area and got permission for 100 acres.  Then, with the help of local police, the company owner threatened the Vaddera families to leave the location and 58 of the families migrated to Maharashtra in September 2013 as their pleas to allow them to continue there failed.  The company had not obtained “no objection certificate” from the local Panchayath.

 

The district committee of PVCR took up this case and held Gram Sabha at Sarampeta and the Gram Sabha passed unanimous resolution, opposing the mining by the company.  Two major issues were raised by PVCR in that meeting which are as follows:

 

i)      Displacement of 58 families due to pressure from the mining company and the school-age-children in those families losing their education due to displacement.  Those children were studying in the local school.  More than 50 children were studying in the school.

ii)     Danger to the Krishna water pipeline on the way to mining site.  In the absence of Krishna water, families will have to drink fluoride water which is not safe, especially for infants and children.  The FVPS (Fluorosis Vimukti Porata Samithi which is a member in PVCR) had obtained that pipeline after a prolonged campaign in the area.  A plastic pipe from the main pipeline goes along the way to the mining site and crosses the road at one point of time.  PVCR was worried that the heavy trucks carrying granite may damage that pipeline.  At doubted, one day, the pipeline broke and the water supply was stopped to 40 villages.  An agitation was done after the incident and the local Tehsildar instructed the mining company to suspend the production activity.  Within 48 hours the pipeline was repaired and the water supply started to 40 villages.  Continuous water supply to villages is important as the entire area is fluoride-affected and the infants and children are more prone to that.

 

The mining company targeted the PVCR district member Mr. Subhash who played an active role in the campaign and instigated his neighbours to physically attack him.  Mr. Subhash had to flee from the village and seek police protection over night as he was physically attacked by his neighbours.  All the people’s organizations in the district protested against the incident and demanded that action be taken on the mining company and the local Sub Inspector of Police who joined hands with mining company.  Due to people’s pressure, the Sub Inspector of Police was transferred to another place.  Though the mining was stopped for two months, again the company resumed the production.  PVCR is continuing the agitation to cancel the mining license to the company and restore the rights to the original 60 families who were working in that area.  PVCR state General Secretary personally participated in the fact-finding mission in which various other people’s organizations members also participated.

 

Karimnagar 2014-15:

 

Food poisoning at KGBV, Bhupathipur, Sultanabad Mandal:

 

On 30-07-2014 Sakshi newspaper published news about food poisoning that had happened at KGBV, Bhupathipur on 28-07-2014.  According to news item, the issue was kept secret by the KGBV authorities and they were providing treatment for affected children in the hostel.  After seeing the news, the PVCR district committee members passed on the information to PVCR State General Secretary and President and wanted to go on a fact finding mission.

 

A three member team comprising of V. Subhash, V. Illadasu and U. Mahesh from PVCR visited the KGBV at Bhupathipur.  They discussed with the KGBV Incharge Sravanthi about the incident.  When the members asked her why the issue was kept secret for 2 days, her response was that of such incidents would be common.  The team members took all the 7 affected children to the Garrpalli health sub centre for treatment.  Regarding this issue, the fact finding team also discussed with children about the incident.

 

The following observations / facts were found by the fact finding committee:

 

  • On the 28-07-2014, after eating the lunch, 17 children started developing rashes all over the body.  Out of that 7 children’s conditions became serious as they started having loose motions and vomiting. 
  • Though there was no poisonous creature found in any of the food preparations, the suspicion was that a lizard might have fallen in the chicken curry that children at that afternoon.
  • The KGBV hostel, in order to hide the incident, kept the affected children in the hostel itself and started giving medication that was available in the hostel.  The KGBV Incharge did not even try to provide better treatment for them from any hospital.
  • One of the workers at KGBV leaked the news to local Sakshi newspaper reporter and that’s how the issue came out.
  • When the 7 affected children were taken to health centre, doctor administered them some medicines.  Though doctor wanted to give saline to children, by that time the parents reached the place after being informed by PVCR members and wanted to take back their children home and continue treatment there.
  • It was found that there was negligence on the part of both Cook and Incharge in providing hygienic conditions in the kitchen.

 

PVCR members prepared a fact finding report and submitted it to the District Collector.  Immediately, the District Collector sent the information to Rajiv Vidya Mission Project Officer and sought action in that regard.  PVCR members had demanded immediate suspension of KGBV Incharge and the Cook.  They also demanded that measures be taken to ensure hygienic conditions in the kitchen.  As per the latest information received, the RVM PO has issued suspension order to the KGBV Incharge.

 

Nalgonda – 2014-15:

 

Girl student suffers burns while serving food in KGBV hostel at Chandur Mandal:

 

On 13-08-2014, The Hindu newspaper published news about a 13-year-old girl student of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV Hostel) at Chandur Mandal, Nalgonda District, suffered serious burns when the sambar she was carrying in a bucket fell on her while she was taking it to the dining hall.  Immediately she was rushed to the Nalgonda government hospital where her conditionwas stated to be serious.  The girl is studying 9th standard.

 

Upon knowing this news, the Nalgonda PVCR district committee formed a fact finding committee and visited the KGBV hostel, hospital where the girl was being treated and met with KGBV Principal, parents of the girl, hospital doctors and the District Collector.  The findings of the fact finding committee are as follows:

 

  • All the inmates of KGBV hostel are made to work in the dining hall.
  • Every day some students take turn to serve food in the dining hall.
  • There is lack of staff in the hostel which resulted in children being used to serve food.
  • The vessels with food items are heavy for children to carry.
  • The contractor who is given the catering contract has appointed only 2 workers instead of 4.
  • The girl who suffered burns was carrying a full bucket of sambar to dining hall and as the weight was heavy, she tripped and fell down.  Even before she fell, the sambar fell on the floor and the girl fell on the steaming sambar and suffered burns.

 

After finding the above facts, the fact finding committee submitted a memorandum to the District Collector and the main points in the memorandum are as follows:

 

  • The girl should be immediately shifted to a good hospital for better treatment as the facilities in Nalgonda government hospital are not good.  The full cost of the treatment should be borne by government.
  • Immediate measures need to be taken to stop the practice of making children work in KGBV hostel.
  • Disciplinary action should be initiated against all the people responsible for this accident.

 

As a result of PVCR intervention, the District Collector ordered officials to shift the girl to a good hospital and she was shifted to a private hospital for better treatment.  The District Collector has assured PVCR members that disciplinary action would be taken on the persons responsible and that measures would be taken to stop the practice of making children work in KGBV hostel.