Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sonali Bhoite Incident Sparks Outraged Confrontation

As mentioned in our previous report on the rescue of Sonali, on 15th February, the Observation Home Superintendent had arbitrarily denied shelter to Sonali’s siblings in dire need of care & protection.  This had led to Ms. Suvarna Kulkarni and another staff-member Ms.Medha Deshmukh of Snehalaya’s CHILDLINE to lodge a strong complaint with the District Women and Child Development officer
Mr. Chandrashekhar Pagare (who immediately provided shelter to the desperate children). This shocking incident, glaring lapses and the arrogance of the Superintendent widely reported by the local press, evoked spontaneous reaction in other NGOs as well as the local populace, who took to the streets in support of CHILDLINE. Infuriated crowds gathered at Snehalaya’s CHILDLINE office (opposite Chitra Talkies, Ahmednagar) to express strong solidarity, and marched to the District Women and Child Development office in Sarjepura and then on to the Child Welfare Committee Office. The protesters vociferously demanded an investigation of the entire incident and formally submitted a petition to the District Women and Child Development Secretary Mrs.Pathan, seeking strict action against the aberrant officials for their sheer negligence. The irate citizens also demanded filing a case regarding the premature death of a new-born baby at the Government Shelter Home in Karjat! (Snehalaya’s Snehankur centre maintains an unblemished record of zero mortality of new-born infants in its care). Snehalaya’s CHILDLINE thus became a rallying point for ordinary people who demonstrated that they have reached the limits of endurance. The message of the good citizens is that they will no longer tolerate the anguish of tormented children caused by the beastliness of selfish government officials whose very raison d’etre is just to provide shelter. Remember to call  CHILDLINE toll-free number 1098 anytime, anywhere, when any distressed child needs help. Snehalaya’s CHILDLINE is equipped, geared and willing to promptly provide succor to suffering children.

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