After an awareness programme for children, the city police arrested an orphanage warden and are investigating 20 other cases under the Juvenile Justice Act.

Representative image for child abuse
news Child Sexual Abuse Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 17:21

An awareness programme held for children in orphanages and childcare centres led the Mangaluru police to a child sexual abuser and threw light on 20 other cases last week. The awareness programme — Arivu Neravu — was held on March 28 for children in child care centres and orphanages within the Mangaluru commissionerate limits. During the programme, the children were explained about safe and unsafe touches and made aware of physical and sexual abuse. They were also given a questionnaire to answer at the end of the programme. 

"We made the children comfortable with skits and other entertainment programmes to make them relaxed. They will never open up in their child care homes because that is the same environment they are likely abused in. After that, they were given a questionnaire to answer and we studied the answers and marked suspected cases of abuse which need further counselling," Mangaluru DCP (Law and Order) Hariram Shankar told TNM. 

Eight psychologists were engaged to counsel the children based on the questionnaire and this led the Mangaluru police to twenty instances of child sexual abuse including one case in which the police made an arrest. 

A week after the programme, the city police arrested the caretaker of an orphanage (yateem khana) at Kumpala in Dakshina Kannada district on charges of sexually assaulting five boys in the orphanage. The arrested person has been identified as Ayub (52) from Konaje in the district and he was charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Juvenile Justice Act. 

The Mangaluru police is investigating the other cases that have come up through the awareness programme. Around 480 students from 30 child care centres were present at the programme held at the TMA Pai Convention Centre in Mangaluru. The programme was held along with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) along with KS Hegde Medical College. The skits outlining safe and unsafe touches were performed by the students of School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya. 

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