A day after two people from the AGAPE orphanage home were arrested by the police, for making an HIV positive girl clean a manhole, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for Rangareddy district has taken note of the issue.
"It is a blatant violation of child rights especially at a time when even the Supreme Court has banned manual scavenging in the country. We are taking the matter seriously. As the incident took place in the weekend, we are most likely to receive the report on Monday. The committee will be summoning caretakers of the orphanage on Tuesday," informed V Padmavathi, member of the CWC was quoted as saying.
A video that emerged on Saturday, shows a girl wearing a red dress, her face covered with a grey scarf immersed in a manhole. The girl can be seen taking out muck in a mug and pouring it out. She does this while an adult can be heard in the background issuing instructions to 'remove it quickly'.
According to the orphanage's website, it was established by Lynne Guhman-Voggu, who moved to India in 2000 from Massachusetts and married an Indian physician named Dr Ratnam Voggu.
The website also adds that AGAPE started its first children's home exclusively for AIDS affected/infected orphans in June 2004. Presently there are six children's homes -- four for HIV affected children (children whose parents or family members have/had AIDS), and two for HIV infected children in Uppal.
The organisation also works at an international level. There is also a school owned by the organisation, where the children get their education.
Even after the incident, some authorities at the orphanage have remained brazenly defiant, calling it a 'small' mistake.
All officials from the organisation have laid the blame largely on the warden, Prajawathi, who, they say, joined them just over a week back.