SRINAGAR: Shock, anger, and outrage! This sums up the mood in Kashmir after a television channel exposed the Non-government Organisations (NGOs) for selling COVID 19 orphans.
According to India Today investigative report, children orphaned due to Covid-19 are being sold by a valley-based NGO in other states.
Asrar Amin, who runs `Global Welfare Charitable Trust’, was found selling Covid orphans for Rs 75,000 per child. “We have so many orphans with us. But if one wants a Covid orphan, there’s no problem,” he said. “Kashmiri children are really beautiful, Mashallah!” Asrar said.
He demanded Rs 1.50 lakh for a pair of Covid orphans. India Today reporters found another NGO operator from Pampore offering newborn Covid orphans, some even lifted from hospitals, for adoption.
Jammu and Kashmir police have taken cognizance of the report and started an investigation. “We are looking into it. I will update you soon,” a senior police officer told The Kashmir Monitor.
The issue has sparked anger on social media with people demanding stern action against the accused. Users have also demanded strict regulation to make orphanages accountable.
“This is beyond horror. What is happening here,” tweeted a user.
“If you know these guys file a police complaint and rescue children from their custody. The business of orphanages in Kashmir, where minor girls are sometimes forced into prostitution and sold outside Kashmir, has been going on for a long time. In the Chanpora area of Srinagar, the owner of an orphanage, who is from outside the state, has been multiple times involved in shameful activities. Despite complaints against these orphanages nothing has happened and children, mostly victims of the conflict, continue to suffer,” wrote The New York Times reporter Sameer Yasir on Facebook.
Another FB user thanked for exposing the people behind this illegal trade. “O my God. Thank you for exposing this evil. I hope that they are behind the bars,” she wrote on Facebook
“Very sad- we need to have robust community-based mechanisms to end such violations and each orphanage /CCI has to receive children only through CWC order as per the JJ act. The same needs to be implemented and strengthened to ensure proper gatekeeping,” wrote another Facebook user.