Nepal quashes Patanjali plans to shelter homeless children

Kathmandu: Authorities in Nepal on Tuesday quashed a plan of Patanjali Yogpeeth, a trust run by yoga guru Baba Ramdev, to provide shelter and education to earthquake affected children.

The Kavre district administration on Tuesday handed over 22 homeless children to their parents, citing a recently-imposed ban that does not allow children in Nepal to travel outside their districts without their parents and the permission of the district children welfare committees headed by chief district officers.

According to Sudarshan Dhakal, chief district officer of Kavre, the children were given shelter by Patanjali Yogpeeth after the earthquake and the trust planned to provide them education up to fifth grade in Haridwar.

"The concerned yogpeeth people did not have knowledge about Nepal's law," Dhakal said.

After local media reported that Patanjali Yogpeeth was providing shelter to some children without fulfilling the legal requirements, the district administration urged the trust officials to hand over the children to their parents.

"We gave away some relief materials and money to the parents and children," Dhakal said.

Patanjali Yogpeeth is developing a major centre in Kavre district in order to run its various activities in Nepal.

After the April 25 earthquake, the trust announced it would adopt 500 quake-affected children from Nepal and provide them shelter and education.

According to home ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, police have been directed to keep a strict vigil in border districts of Nepal to check child trafficking in the aftermath of the earthquake.

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