Days after the girls of a shelter home in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district alleged sexual abuse, it has been sealed and the owners have been arrested. According to reports, the minor girls of Dream Centre shelter home in Beltikiri, Dhenkanal had alleged that they have been abused sexually, physically and mentally by the owners for two years.
The shelter home, which was being run by an NGO named Good News India was sealed yesterday. Two days ago, District Child Protection Officer Anuradha Goswami and members of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) had raided the shelter home after local media reported the abuse.
The police in Dhenkanal had stated that the shelter home was being run illegally. Its manager Simanchal Nayak and Managing Director Fayaz Rehman were detained by the police. Another person Udit Lima stated to be the assistant director was also arrested later.
The shelter home was not registered with the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and was being run illegally. After the raids, the state Woman and Child development minister Prafulla Saman had ordered to seal all the 22 shelter homes run by Good News India in Odisha.
Local news portals have reported today that of the 81 inmates, 11 girls were found missing when the district administration was shifting them to another facility. These 11 girls are stated to be sent to homes outside the state without the knowledge of the district administration.
The founder of Good News India reportedly runs another 7 shelter homes in West Bengal and 1 in Jharkhand.
The Good News NGO heavily promotes evangelism and conversion to Christianity, though veiled carefully.
The website of the NGO Good News India states that it runs its ‘Dream Centres’ for “Primitive, savages and tribal people to bring social, spiritual and economic transformations in their lives”.
The website also mentions that its purpose is the “bring the Good News of Jesus’ love to all people” among other things. Interestingly, the “taming savages” and “bringing the word of Jesus’ to the savages is a line which is often used by Christian evangelists. In fact, the mission statement of All Nations, the missionary which trained Allen Chau, the zealot who got killed while trying to convert the Sentinelese people was also fashioned on similar lines.
The most damning evidence that this NGO was not just a shelter home comes in the page where they talk about the founder Faiz Rehman. About the founder Faiz Rehman, the website states that he was born and raised a Muslim in Calcutta before he found “The joy of salvation of Jesus Christ”. The first sentence in the ‘Our Purpose’ section of the NGO’s website reads, “to bring the good news of Jesus’s love for all people”.
The website seemingly boasts about Good News India being better at keeping children away from “paganism”. It says most other child care ministries provide one meal and 4 hours of contact with the child, owing to which “the child is back in paganism” and that the child is released after 10th grade. GNI is “different” because it is committed to seeing children through college, presumably, thereby eliminating the chance of children “going back to paganism”.
In a shameful display, they even have the option to “choose a child” where they display the photograph, name and age of the child.
It is being speculated on social media that on their home page, they even had an option called “child menu” which has now been removed.
Transforming eastern India through largest network of unregistered ‘dream centres’ for ‘slave’, orphans & rescued BEFORE they’re abused!work with ‘lepers”savages”primitives’also.all in name of Jesus! @PMOIndia @MinistryWCD @UnSubtleDesi @vivekagnihotri @ShefVaidya @muglikar_ pic.twitter.com/kSUwYcMGr0
— Nevermind ?? (@Nainaa58) December 3, 2018
It is notable here that after the dreadful abuse of minor girls in Muzaffarnagar shelter home in Bihar came to light, the central WCD ministry had ordered all the states to inspect shelter homes and access the conditions. The central WCD ministry has also shut down 539 different child care institutions due to irregularities.