Govt bans mobiles in Apna Ghar, probes SCAN

PTI, PANAJI | 06 April 2012 16:55 IST

Following the discovery of an alleged nexus between a caretaker of a remand home and the criminals, authorities have decided to ban the use of mobile phones within its premises.

Apna Ghar, a remand home run by Directorate of Women and Child Welfare, Goa, is currently reeling under allegations that some of the boys living there were involved in thefts, and a caretaker used to help them go out to commit the crimes.

Videsh Mandrekar, the caretaker, was arrested by the police this week. One of the boys from the remand home is even suspected of involvement in a murder.

Director of Women and Child Welfare department, Sanjiv Gadkar, today said that mobiles would be banned inside the remand home.

Gadkar said that authorities had no idea of the links between the criminals and the official.

"It is good that police had a crack-down. We never imagined that our own staff could be involved in such acts," Gadkar said.

Police yesterday arrested gangster Zenito Cardoso, who allegedly recruited children from Apna Ghar for the activities of his gang.

Mandrekar is accused of letting the boys out of the remand home for committing crimes such as thefts and robberies.

The state government, which had started a probe into frequent escapes from the remand home, has now also ordered probe into the conduct of the NGO `Stop Child Abuse Now' (SCAN), which works with Apna Ghar authorities for rehabilitation of the inmates, sources said. 


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One of the constant "mantras" I hear from all Goans is that it is pointless complaining to any officials.They will do nothing to rectify the wrongs or wrong-doings.Lets hope the new C.M Mr Parrikar will also address the irresponsibility of Government officials and Bureaucrats in carrying out the duties they are being paid for.Many complaints from the Public,are left collecting dust and remain un-answered.

- N.Fernandes, London | 07 th April 2012 00:14

 

Hi Anita Haladi::: I am in total agreement with you.All those convicted for "dereliction of duty" ,child grooming & indoctrination in criminality and gross criminal activity, should themselves be housed in the famous "SADA (sub jail) GHAR" located in Vasco.They should also be given Rigorous Punishment.

- N.Fernandes, London | 07 th April 2012 00:06

 

I hope that the probe is expedited and the criminals punished and not merely suspended. The system has failed the children and we as a state ought to reflect on this. Despite the Goa Childrens' Act and the Juvenile Justice Act and a host of NGOs working on child rights, the only state run home in Goa has been in shambles for a long time.

There is a total lack of commitment to set things right perhaps due to our apathy towars children in difficult circumstances and our attitudes towards migrant children.

The home has no standard opearting procedures in place and the members of the committees at Apna Ghar are often clueless about what needs to be done. Good intentions alone are not enough.

Recently, the CWC had sent a child into solitary confinement as they were unable to find an alternative method of addressing the child's needs. Why do we wake up only after such horrificcrimes come to light?

I am also perturbed by the continues silence of the State commission for the Protection of Child Rights. The Commisson ought to have taken suo motu cognisance of the report that came out last week and should have by now brought out recommendations about the ones responsible for the crime and more importantly, should have started cracking on how we can make Apna Ghar more of a home and less of a 'den'!

Also I hope the investigation of SCAN covers its sponsor El-Shaddai.

- Anita Haladi, Caranzalem | 06 th April 2012 20:21

 

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