From Ludhiana to Chennai, Christian Children Shelter Homes Involved in Abuse & Illegal Conversion

Yet again, shelter homes and orphanages run by missionary Christians have come into news for child sex abuse and illegal conversion of children. Two news have come from two different states of Bharat, but as seen in the past, they haven’t got much attention by so-called liberals and national media.

Tamil Nadu

Shocking revelations of extensive sexual abuse have been reported in an orphanage in Tirumullaivoyal, a suburb of Chennai.

As per the report in Deccan Chronicle, the married couple Jacob and Vimala Jacob was running the private home for orphaned children under Eternal Word Trust, in Thirumullaivoyal. The incident came into light when the government school in Thirumullaivoyal organised an awareness program about sexual harassment and child welfare. Judges from Madras High court and Child Welfare Committee members were invited to address the students.

After the awareness program, the officers were casually chatting when two boys and girls approached the members of the child welfare committee and started crying. They were taken into a private room and questioned. Then the children opened up about the owners and workers of the home allegedly harassing them sexually and also threatening them.

Based on the children’s inputs, the police officers raided the orphan home in Thirumullaivoyal and confirmed the sexual harassment of children irrespective of gender.

Just like in case of Ludhiana-based shelter home, here also this private shelter home was an unregistered one and its license had expired in 2015.

A total of 44 children were rescued and sent to various government children home. Besides the owners, Jacob (64) and Vimala Jacob (59), main accused as identified by the police is Babu Samuel (54) and other maintenance staff Muthu (27) and Bhaskar (39) have also been arrested.

Eternal Word Trust – Source of funds and foreign aid:

It is to be noted that Eternal Word Trust, Thirumullaivoyal was FCRA-NGO (TN/75900767.) As mentioned in their FC6 return, it received more than Rs. 2 Crore each in 2006, 2007 and 2008 from an organisation called “E.W.M. Ein Herz fur Indien-Riedenburg-Germany” (i.e., a total of Rs. 6+ Crore in 3 years.) Then, it received only Rs. 20,000 in 2011. After that, it has not filed any FC returns. According to the information on FCRA online, its ‘FCRA certificate is deemed to have been ceased’.

Eternal Word Trust (TN/75900767) is one of the FCRA-NGOs which was issued ‘Show Cause Notice‘ dated 8th July, 2017, by FCRA Wing for failure to upload Annual Returns from 2010-11 to 2014-15 and cancellation of its registration under FCRA.

Eternal Word Trust had filed a writ in High Court in 2016 asking the State Government department to consider its application (of 2014) to continue running the orphanages. Interestingly, this trust has around 17 acres of land in its name. (Source)

(FCRA information about Eternal Word Trust has been collated from tweet thread of @by2kaafi)

Further, this E.W.M. Ein Herz fur Indien-Riedenburg-Germany i.e., Eternal Word Ministries (EWM)- A heart for India eV, was founded in 1989, by Chennai-born Pastor John Rajiah. He has been actively indulged in evangelizing and preaching gospel in different parts of Bharat, Nepal and Europe since a long time. This organisation also has its office in France.

One of the mission of this organisation is ‘Church Planting’ to make sure that everyone get an opportunity to know the real Jesus.

Punjab

This incident came into light from Punjab where more than 30 children (34 as reported in Firstpost, 38 as reported in The Indian Express) have been rescued from Ludhiana-based Paskin Mary Cross Child Shelter Home. These kids, aged between 5 to 18 years, are tribal kids who were brought from Jharkhand and were staying at that shelter home.

Shockingly, the statements made by officials of the Child Welfare Department revealed that the shelter home, that had been running for over a decade, failed to register and follow the guidelines and rules of the Juvenile Justice Act, as reported in The Tribune.

As per the report in The Indian Express, the kids were converted without even telling their parents.

peskin_mary_shelter_home_ludhiana
Caretaker Satyandar Parkash Musa (in shorts) with other members of the child care shelter at Phullanwal village. Source: The Tribune

As reported in Hindustan Times, an FIR was lodged with the anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) of Chaibasa police in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand in connection with a case where 30 children from Jharkhand went missing from a shelter home in Punjab’s Ludhiana district. The FIR has also accused Paskin shelter home “ringleader” Satyendra Prasad Musa and Junal Longa, a resident of Seengda village in West Singhbhum, of illegally converting 34 children from different districts of Jharkhand to Christianity, and keeping them in the Ludhiana shelter home. The kids were taught Christian doctrines in the shelter home.

“Investigation has revealed that the home was not registered. We have also collected evidence of conversion and the inhuman condition under which the kids were kept,” said Prakash Soy, Chaibasa sadar sub-divisional police officer (SDPO).

Ludhiana CWC, in joint operation with Jharkhand police, has seized documents from the Paskin Mary Cross Home, confirming illegal conversion, torture and child labour, police said.

The children at this shelter home were sent by local churches and pastors. All letters of undertaking attached to the files of each kid stated that they had come there on oath of Bible and all the kids were given new Christian names, police said.

A Child Welfare Committee member said that they will be probing the funding sources as Musa has hardly any known source of income, whereas maintaining so many children meant a monthly expense of Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 lakh.

The SP said that as per the record, around 300 children from Jharkhand were taken to Ludhiana, Punjab, since 2006 in this human trafficking case. Junul Longo had allegedly lured the children on the false promise of education and employment, reports The Times of India.

Another angle of this case as reported in Firstpost tells that the kids, youngest out of the lot being just five, were trafficked to Punjab from Jharkhand, to work in factories but were rescued by Punjab Police and handed over to the Paskin Mary Cross child shelter where the kids have been living ever since. If such allegations come out to be true, then Punjab Police needs to give an explanation as to how did they send the kids, without any proper verification, to an illegal shelter home.

Now most of the kids have been sent back to their parents and a few are yet to be traced.


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