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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Arrest of children’s home and school owner Jesudass Raja under POCSO in Tamil Nadu

Several Tamil mainstream media have reported the arrest of a Jesudass Raja (66) under POCSO Act today. See 1, 2, 3 for example.  Times of India too has reproduced the story in English.

Hindu Post provides a summary of the details provided in Tamil MSM stories here for the benefit of non-Tamil speaking Indians and to foreign FCRA donors.

Jesudass Raja runs a Trust in Vridhachalam, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu called Annai Amala Trust. As per Niti Aayog’s Darpan portal, it was registered in 2004 and received FCRA sanction in the year 2018 with Registration number: TN/78040008. The website of Annai Amala Trust mentions that it runs a Children’s Home, a Primary School, a High School, an Old Age Home etc., all in the same village. Thanks to Article 30 of our Constitution.

Media report that in October, Jesudass Raja had complained to the police that three 12 y/o girl children who were inmates of his Children’s Home were missing. After a search, the police discovered two of them in Chennai and a third in Ariyalur district. Investigation by the Police as well as confidential statements provided to the Cuddalore District POCSO Special Court by the children revealed some shocking information.

The children alleged that Jesudass Raja had sexually abused them and had threatened dire consequences if they let anybody know of it. Based on these statements, Jesudass Raja was arrested under various sections of POCSO. 43 children residing in his Children’s Home were shifted to a Government-run Children Home in the vicinity.

While mainstream media mention that the Children’s Home was being run without permission, facts from Government websites belie this claim. The Cuddalore district administration’s Social Welfare Department website lists Amala Children Home as one of the entities eligible to receive children under the Cradle Children scheme of the Tamil Nadu Government.

The entry for Annai Amala Trust on the Darpan Portal mentions it receiving grants from the Tamil Nadu Government’s Social Welfare Department. A report in 2012 in the well known Tamil daily Dinamani mentions how several people from United Kingdom had been visiting the school run by Jesudass Raja since 1998, to teach the children, English. Not surprisingly, the FCRA inflow to the Trust too is from United Kingdom, as per the FC4 return filed by the Trust, examined by HinduPost on the Ministry of Home Affairs website.

It is not known if Amala Children Home is compliant with the Juvenile Justice Act. That is all that matters. It is a known fact that several Children Homes operate despite them being non-compliant with JJA, primarily due to the run-down conditions and possible apathy/collusion of overseeing Departments in the States (in particular, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala).

We believe that orphanages are a blight on our society. At best, each district can have one well-run orphanage and nothing more. Various reports of NCPCR have highlighted how the inmates in such orphanages are technically not orphans and how in several of them, the children are exposed continuously to religious literature of one particular faith.

The influx of FCRA money channeled into the 4/14 window with ulterior motives is something Hindu society has to recognize and act upon. In fact, in a video of the Amala Children Home available on YouTube, all the inmates can be seen to perform a hand gesture thanking that ‘God’.

The alleged crime in Amala Children Home is not an isolated incident. HinduPost has covered several such incidents in Orphanages. See for example: 1, 2, 3. Thus, the menace of mushrooming orphanages must be seen from a holistic point of view. Hindu Samaj and the Hindu Aam Aadmi must act, before it gets too late.

HinduPost demands:

  • Summary Closure of all Orphanages/Children Homes save one, in each district of Bharat.
  • Immediate Closure and continued vigil by local authorities of all non-JJA compliant Children Homes. Inmates to be returned back to their parents/close-relatives, consistent with JJA.
  • Prohibit FCRA registered entities from utilising Foreign Contribution towards supporting Children Homes.
  • List of all Children Homes receiving grants/aid/support from State Governments to be displayed on Government of India’s Women and Child Ministry website. If the State Governments are utilising PFMS for such aid, the data is available transparently to the Union Government anyway. The same should be made publicly available.

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