Hyderabad: An orphanage in Hyderabad forced 12 -year-old girls girl inmates to clean manhole on its premises at Swaroopnagar, Uppal on Saturday. Police booked the officials for this callous act. The incident stirred child rights activists and local leaders, who held protests at AGAPE Orphan Home.
According to sources a girl was spotted covering her nose with a mask and entering the eight-foot tank to clean it. She and other girls used plastic bowl to scoop the muck from the manhole and dump it at an open place nearby.
Child rights activists led by Balala Hakkula Sangham (BHS) who rushed to the place after receiving the information found 12 girls engaged in the task of cleaning the drain tank. It must be noted that both child labour and manual scavenging are banned in India.
A case has been booked against orphanage staff and organisers Len, David, Ramarao, Naveen and warden Prajapathi, under Section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act against and they have been detained.
Orphanage staffers have to say that they informed municipal workers and requested them to clean the tank, but they did not turn up. As foul smell was emanating from the tank, the children volunteered to clean it. The supervisor further said that since the children staying in the orphanage were HIV patients, no one would come to clean the manholes.
It must be noted that the orphanage has around 230 children as inmates out of which 90 are HIV positive.