Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Archive for April 11th, 2007

Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007

renuka-chaudhuri.jpg(Renuka, in blue sari, and close business friend)

In the last hours, the BBC and other news services have reported on a major study of child abuse in India. See:
https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2007/04/11/child-abuse-landmark-indian-government-study/

The BBC report says, 

“Two out of every three children in India are physically abused, according to a landmark Indian government study”

The Manmohan Singh government of India Minister responsible for the release of the report is Renuka Choudhury (also spelt Chowdhury). Before she became Minister for Women and Child Development, Ms Choudhury was Minister for Tourism who worked hard at driving tourism to Sai Baba and Puttaparthi, where he has his main ashram. She  comes from Andhra Pradesh, the same state of India as Sai Baba. Among many other serious accusations, Sai Baba faces worldwide allegations of sexual abuse of boys and young men, implication in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, and, along with his ashram officials and the Congress Party government of the time (the present Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Party), is accused of a massive cover-up of the scandal.

One of our Indian workers reports dealing closely with Ms Choudhury and briefing her in detail about compelling evidence against Sai Baba. He said that she went to real effort to personally photocopy vital documents our group shared with her and, still further, to go around to the then Opposition leader Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s residence to brief her on them. The rest was silence – which, of course, is the very essence of deep compromise and cover-up.

In her Tourism portfolio, Renuka Chaudhury, in all practical effect, drove large numbers of boys and young males to Sai Baba. This was even though she was in possession of extremely revealing documents (too sensitive to reveal on the Internet) that, among other terrible matters, evidenced years of large-scale, serial sexual molestation by Sai Baba.

How, then, after all, can Mrs Chaudhuri act to rid India of a sexual abuse scourge that implicates such powerful figures as Sathya Sai Baba?  Manmohan Singh and so many members of his political party – and indeed the President of India, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam – are deeply implicated with Sai Baba. 

Sai Baba is arguably the most powerful and influential guru in India’s history. How could Renuka Chaudhury and her Ministry of Women and Child Development possibly prevail against one who is so incredibly powerful, and one who the BBC has named ‘The Secret Swami’?

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Posted in Medicine, Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Nepal, New Age, News, News and Politics, Opinion, Pediatrics, People, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics, Propaganda, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Sri Lanka, Successful People, Theology, Theosophy, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 2 Comments »

Child Abuse. Landmark Indian Government Study

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007

Abuse of Indian children ‘common’
By Geeta Pandey
BBC News, Delhi

This is the first time India has done such a survey on child abuse
Two out of every three children in India are physically abused, according to a landmark government study.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the study says 53% of the surveyed children reported one or more forms of sexual abuse.

This is the first time the government has done such an exhaustive survey on the controversial issue of child abuse.

Abuse of children, particularly sexual abuse, is rarely admitted in India and activists have welcomed the study.

Releasing the report at a press conference in the capital, Delhi, Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said: “In India there’s a tradition of denying child abuse. It doesn’t happen here is what we normally say.

“But by remaining silent, we have aided and abetted the abuse of children.”

Thousands quizzed

Describing the findings of the study as “disturbing”, Ms Chowdhury called for an end to the “conspiracy of silence”.

The issue of child abuse has been raised in the past by non-governmental organisations, but this is the first time an attempt has been made by the government to document the scale of the problem.

The study took two years to complete, and covered 13 states where 12,247 children (between five and 12) and 2,324 young adults (over the age of 12) were quizzed.

Dr Loveleen Kacker, the official in charge of child welfare in the ministry, compiled the report.

She said the study had revealed that contrary to the general belief that only girls were abused, boys were equally at risk, if not more.

She said a substantial number of the abusers were “persons in trust and care-givers” who included parents, relatives and school teachers.

Ms Chowdhury said the findings of the study were disturbing

Dr Kacker said a disturbing finding of the study had been that 70% had not reported the abuse to anyone.

Besides surveying physical and sexual abuse, the study also collected statistics on emotional abuse and neglect of girls.

The study called for efforts to make society aware of the rights of children and officials say the data will help them formulate better policies to protect children.

‘One too many’

The report has been welcomed by child rights activists who say such a study was sorely needed in India.

Roland Angerer, country director of Plan International, told BBC News it was “very important that the government has finally taken up the issue”.

“It doesn’t matter what statistics say. Whether the percentage of abused children is 75 or whether it is 58 is unimportant. Each child that is abused is one too many,” he said.

“It’s important that parents and adults must learn that children are not property, that they have rights too.”

In India, parents are often reluctant to admit child abuse and sexual abuse of children involving family members is almost always hushed up.

The study also collected data on how girls are neglected

Perhaps that is why – as the study shows – more than 50% of the young adults surveyed wanted the matter of abuse to remain within the family.

Only 17% of the abused young adults wanted harsh punishment for the abusers.

Officials and activists say the biggest challenge for the authorities and society is to ensure that children are encouraged to report abuse.

India is home to almost 19% of the world’s children. More than one-third of the country’s population – 440m people – is made up of children below 18 years of age.

According to one study, at least 40% of these children are in need of care and protection.

The country has millions of child workers.

Many are employed in hazardous industries and also in homes and small restaurants, which makes them vulnerable to violence and exploitation.

Last year the government banned children under 14 from being employed in homes and at restaurants to avoid their exploitation and abuse, but millions of children continue to work in these sectors.

India is a signatory to various international laws on the protection of children, but implementation of these laws is often lax.

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Sai Baba Promised to Transform India. But Child Abuse Rampant

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007

Children vulnerable to abuse during travel, weddings
Apr 10, 2007 – 3:49:12 PM

The survey is expected to develop a dependable and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of child abuse.

[RxPG] New Delhi, April 10 – Almost 50 percent of India’s children aged between 5 and 12 are prone to sexual abuse such as forcible kissing and being made to exhibit their private parts during travel, marriage and other family ceremonies, says the national study on child abuse.The figure reduces to half as soon as they cross into their teens, points out a study conducted by ministry of women and child development, UNICEF and two NGOs,Save the Child and Prayas.The survey among 15,000 children in 13 sample states has come up with disturbing data.While 41.17 percent of children in the 5-12 age group complained of being forcibly kissed, the figure came down to 25.73 percent for the 13-14 years category. Similarly, around 25.86 percent of teenagers reported being forced to exhibit their private parts, but the relevant figure for those below 12 was 35.86 percent.

Around 37.25 percent of the younger age group and 27.61 percent of teenagers were sexually abused during travel. As much as 41.33 percent in the 5-12 category and 25.29 in the 13-14 category reported abuse during marriages and other ceremonies in the family.

According to the study, 53.22 percent of the children surveyed faced one or more forms of sexual abuse while 21.9 percent of them faced severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76 percent other forms of sexual abuse.

What is worse, the report said, ‘around 70 percent of abused children have never reported the matter to anyone’.

While Assam – topped the list of states where children faced sexual abuse, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi followed closely at 72.83 percent and 72.26 percent. Rajasthan reported the lowest complaints with only 29.36 percent.

The percentage of sexually abused young adults – is also high in Assam at 77.5 percent, followed by Delhi at 69.11 percent. Goa reported the least complaints – 23.01 percent.

‘Every second child reported facing emotional abuse,’ says the report. While 68.26 percent of children in Assam reported being emotionally abused through humiliation, the figure was 58.32 percent for Delhi and 55.67 percent for Madhya Pradesh.

The survey is expected to develop a dependable and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of child abuse.

‘It will also facilitate the formulation of appropriate policy and programmes meant to effectively curb and control the menace,’ Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Choudhury said.

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