‘Rajasthan panchayat made child sit outside house for 10 days, will face action’

Jaipur, July 12 : Strict action will be taken against the village officials who made a five-year old girl in Rajasthan’s Bundi sit alone outside her house since July 3 as punishment for breaking a bird’s egg, Rajasthan child rights panel chief Manan Chaurvedi said on Thursday.

Talking to IANS, Chaturvedi, who visited Hindoli village where the incident occurred, said that the little girl was made to feel like an untouchable and was made to sit outside her home for 11 days.

“The girl sat on a charpoy under scorching sun since July 3 and was not allowed to enter her own house. As she cried, her mother, despite feeling sympathetic to her, could not even hug her as the the village heads had strictly forbidden it.”

Chaturvedi said that it was only after a district administration team rushed to the village on Wednesday on coming to know of the situation, the girl was allowed to enter her house. “However, before her entry,she was asked to have ‘ganga snan’ (ritualistic bath) to purify herself of charges of sin of ‘jeev hatya’ (killing a being),” she said.

“However, today (Thursday), I could see the daughter clinging to her mother and her happiness was evident from her face,” said the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chief.

The punishment came when the girl, who went to school for the first time on July 2 and standing in a queue to get milk as part of the mid-day meal scheme in Rajasthan, accidentally crushed the bird egg.

The mistake brought her the biggest trauma as she was ordered ostracised from society for 11 days by the panchayat. Initially, the panchayat members asked her father to give them snacks and liquor, and then sought to force him for his unpaid loan of Rs 1,500.

The poor man, who was unable to repay the loan, was then given harshest punishment that was of social boycott for his daughter, with the panchayat ruling that no one will accept water from her or visit her, said Chaturvedi.

The girl’s pregnant mother was also threatened to be isolated during her delivery, she added.

The child rights panel chief said that directions have been issued to child welfare officials to immediately get an FIR registered in the case against village heads on charge of separating a mother from her child and for following caste-based torture.

She said Block Development Officials have been asked to have regular interaction with sarpanchs of each village in their blocks to make them aware against following such practices or else they shall be dealt strictly, she said.

Bhavna Singh, SDO, Hindoli, said that girl now looks happy and sound and there seems to be no psychological pressure on her and as directed by Chaturvedi, an FIR will be lodged in the case.
(IANS)

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