Vidyavati Ashram owner Rajendra Gupta admitted to the media yesterday that he had handed over 12 children to their parents in the past few years. He said he had done this without producing the children before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) members as he did not know the rules and admitted it was a mistake on his part.
Gupta earlier said all children at his orphanage were orphans. MiD DAY was the first to report on November 3 about the rape and impregnation of a 13-year-old girl at the orphanage.
Caught unawares? Ashram owner Rajendra Gupta; Suvarna Pawar,
district women and child development officer
These revelations by Gupta came a day after MiD DAY reported that 10 children were not produced before the CWC, before being handed over to their parents, which is mandatory. CWC member Anjali Vipat said that Gupta had assured them he would produce all the kids before the committee within two days.
"A person running an orphanage is expected to know the rules. He can not get away by merely saying that he did not know the rules," said Vipat. The list of children produced by Gupta had many alterations, and many names were seen erased with a whitener. The addresses of parents to whom the kids were handed over were incomplete and some cell numbers had only eight digits.
Gupta was non committal about when he would be able to produce the children before the committee. Sources said the District Women and Child Development Officer Suvarna Pawar had been summoned to Mumbai by Varsha Gaikwad, minister for women and child development, after reading reports about the alleged threats she issued to Dr Yamini Adbe.