Watch: In Surprise Check, Child Rights Commission Finds Christian Trust Involved In Conversion Of Tribal Minor Girls

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 10, 2021 09:25 AM
Watch: In Surprise Check, Child Rights Commission Finds Christian Trust Involved In Conversion Of Tribal Minor GirlsThe surprise check under way by NCPCR.
Snapshot
  • Official letter to the DM and police says that when the NCPCR team checked the belongings of the children, it was found that though they belonged to the Hindu community, they were being made to read Christian religious literature, including the Bible.

    The said centre is operational at Intkhedi village in Sultanpur block of Madhya Pradesh’s Raisen district.

Chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) paid a surprise visit to a children’s centre run by a religious trust in Madhya Pradesh two days ago, only to find that the centre was involved in religious conversion of tribal minor girls.

The commission yesterday shot a letter to the police chief concerned and district magistrate, demanding an action taken report (ATR) within seven days. The commission has directed the authorities to shift all the children enrolled at the centre to their respective families.

Commission chairman Priyank Kanoongo also made public a video of the surprise check through his official Twitter account.

The said centre is operational at Intkhedi village in Sultanpur block of Madhya Pradesh’s Raisen district.

As per the commission’s letter to the DM and the SP of Raisen, the centre, which is run by a religious trust and houses children, is neither recognised by the government nor is officially registered as a child shelter home.

The letter says that when the NCPCR team checked the belongings of the children, it was found that though they belonged to the Hindu community, they were being made to read Christian religious literature, including the Bible.

Notebooks of the children showed that the centre had provided them with a daily religious schedule.

The staff at the centre told the NCPCR team that several girls belonged to MP’s tribal communities. One of the girls at the centre was found to be from Assam.

Prima facie, it appears that the children are being kept and given religious lessons at the centre in violation of Article 28(3) of the Indian Constitution,” the letter says.

This Article states that “No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.”

The NCPCR has asked the district authorities to get a clarification from the local child welfare committee about permission to children for staying at the centre. It has also sought information on whether the centre gets foreign funding for its activities.

The commission has also asked the authorities to act against the centre management under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Watch: In Surprise Check, Child Rights Commission Finds Christian Trust Involved In Conversion Of Tribal Minor Girls

In a video statement, Kanoongo said, “During an inspection on 8 May, the NCPCR team found that in the premises of a Christian missionary centre, minor girls estimated to be between 15 and 30 in numbers, are being housed."

“The girls are Hindu tribals, but are being taught Christian religious texts. The team found Bible books in the girls’ beds. We have found hints that the children were being trained for a specific project. How the children ended up at the centre is a matter that needs an independent probe.”

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