61 children shifted to Shishu Vihar


HYDERABAD, APRIL 26. The operation for rescuing children from the clutches of adoption racket agencies continued on Thursday with the Women and Child Welfare Department shifting 61 children, 54 of them below one year, from Precious Moments, Miyapur, to the Government-run Shishu Vihar at Vengalraonagar on Thursday.

The children shifted from the centre run by Mrs. Anita Sen, wife of an IPS officer, Mr. Swaranjit Sen, included 53 female and eight male babies.

The department officials came with about 25 assistants in three ambulances to the centre operating from the premises of the Andhra Pradesh Bible College on Thursday evening. High drama prevailed at the centre on the Miyapur-Bollarum Road with the officials camping there since morning waiting for instructions from the Collector, Mr. Ajay Jain, for moving the children.

There was no resistance from the staff what with the Director, Mrs. Sen, choosing to stay away from there. The Child Welfare Department Project Director (Ranga Reddy), Mrs. Udaya Lakshmi, said Precious Moments failed to produce any records pertaining to the children kept with them.

For nearly three years, the centre had operated `illegally and without licence' and had got a fitness certificate only recently, around January, she said. After the children were shifted, she said `suitable action' would be recommended against the centre's authorities and the licenses issued would be cancelled. Precious Moments had procured 157 children so far and while 94 were allegedly given for adoption, two died at the centre.

The centre operating from a small portion had all the 54 infants crammed into a single hall. The staff closed all the doors and windows of the hall to prevent presspersons from entering it and with no electricity supply in the afternoon, the wails of children kept resonating in the four walls.

Claiming to be an in-charge of Precious Moments, Dr. Sarita, denied that the centre had ever given any child for adoption in violation of rules or sold any child. ``Our place is strictly a care centre for abandoned and unwanted children. We never went after children but accepted them when someone brought them here,'' she said. But, she failed to provide details on who and from where did `someone' bring these children.

Without furnishing any documents, she maintained that `relinquishment forms' were duly filled and signed by the parents or guardians before they left the children there. The adoption work for children from Precious Moments was taken care of by the Indian Council for Social Welfare which was maintaining the records, she said.

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