As many as 18 minor girls who were allegedly subjected to sexual abuse, were rescued from an unregistered juvenile orphanage at Vyasarpadi in Chennai, on Monday, January 25.
The District Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Unit (DCPO) and two special police units rescued the girls after they received a call on the Childline 1098, from a girl from the orphanage.
She informed that the girls, between 9 and 17 years of age, were being abused by the orphanage incharge, Kalyanasundaram and his kin, especially during the lockdown.
She further told the officials about the alleged abuse faced by her and 18 others at the unlicensed orphanage. The helpline centre immediately alerted the DCPO, the CWC and the Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) of Chennai, reported The News Minute.
The team rushed to the spot and rescued the girls. It was then found that the orphanage - Socio-Economic Education Rehabilitation Society (SEERS) was unlicensed. The team sealed the home and shifted the girls to other juvenile care centres.
Kalyanasundaram went absconding by the time the police reached the spot. Nearly 23 juveniles were residing in the orphanage, and five of them returned to their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining were 18 students, including two college students.
The director, his son, brother, and a few others had been sexually abusing the children during the lockdown, the media quoted the police. The department also said that the accused's brother sexually assaulted the children while transporting them from school to home in an auto-rickshaw.
The District Child Protection Unit informed that they were conducting a thorough inquiry about the unregistered homes in all parts of Chennai.
The committee spoke to some of the parents on Monday. They have been speaking to the rescued children to find out more about the orphanage.