Patanjali defies government order

  • Brings 27 kids from quake-affected Sindhupalchok, Gorkha districts to a hostel in Capital
- Pratichya Dulal, Kathmandu
Patanjali defies government order

Jul 28, 2015-

Defying the government’s prohibitory directives on transport of children from one district to another, Patanjali Yogpeeth, a trust run by Indian yog guru Ramdev, has brought earthquake-affected children to its ashram—shelter—in Mandikhatar, Kathmandu.

After a failed attempt to ferry the children on June 18 from Kavre to its main ashram in Haridwar, Patanjali brought 27 children from quake-hit districts to a hostel it has opened for them.

“We are not doing anything against the law. Let me make it clear that we are not running a shelter but a hostel for the quake-hit children. We want to help them,” said Salikgram Singh, head of the trust in Nepal.

In order to stop child trafficking, the government has put a moratorium on opening new shelter homes and banned children from leaving one district for another without permission from the District Children Welfare Committee headed by the Chief District Officer.

Children aged between five and sixteen years from Gorkha and Sindhupalchok districts are living in the hostel opened by the trust at its main office in Mandikhatar two weeks ago. The trust sends them to a community school nearby. 

Singh added that Patanjali, after consulting with the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) and other government bodies, had come to a conclusion that the best way to help the children would be to provide for them in a hostel.

The CCWB, however, claimed that Patanjali had not contacted it in this regard. Board Executive Director Tarak Dhital suggested that those with the resources could open a school in quake-hit areas rather than uproot a child from its family and community. 

Last month, the Kavre District Administration Office had intervened in the Patanjali Yogpeeth’s plan to provide shelter and education to earthquake-hit children in Haridwar, India, handing 22 children back to their parents.

Researches show that apart from the threat of trafficking and child labour, children separated from their family at a small age face serious problems of identity. 

Earlier, media reports suggested that various religious organisations were active in gathering quake-displaced children and sending them across the border. However, the government has not been able to ascertain the number of trafficked children over the period.

Published: 29-07-2015 08:14

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