18:53 GMT08 August 2020
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    All childcare institutions providing shelter to destitute children in India have come under the scanner after it was revealed that underage girls, including some as young as seven years old, at two shelter homes in Muzzafarpur and Deoria were repeatedly raped by high-profile visitors, including politicians.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India's Women and Child Development Ministry has ordered a social audit of over 9,000 childcare institutions across the country in the next 60 days, following the shocking revelation of the mass rape of minors at shelter homes in the eastern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

    READ MORE: Anti-Slave Trade Activists Abducted, Raped in India After Street Performance

    The audit will be conducted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which will submit its report within two months of the exercise. India has around 9,500 childcare institutions, out of which only 7,109 are registered with the government.

    Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has urged states to have a single, large facility for destitute children to prevent their "abuse and misuse" by NGOs.

    During a social audit of a shelter house in Muzaffarpur, Bihar by the Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), it was revealed that at least 34 underage girls had been repeatedly sexually abused by many persons, including high-profile politicians.

    On Wednesday, Manju Verma, Bihar's minister for the Social Welfare Department, resigned, bowing to pressure by opposition parties. It has been alleged that the minister's husband, Chandeshwa Verma, was a regular visitor to the shelter home where the rapes had occurred.

    Meanwhile, authorities are investigating a similar case of sexual exploitation of at least 24 underage girls in the Deoria shelter home of Uttar Pradesh.


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    social, Child Rape, audit, shelter, investigation, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, India, Bihar
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