Missionaries of Charity’s shelter home in Vadodara has been booked for hurting religious sentiments and converting girl children. The orphanage made the girls wear the cross around their necks and the library had Bibles. A complaint was filed by a Social Defence Officer after the NCPCR Chairman had inspected the orphanage a few months ago.
NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo had inspected the shelter home in August and found some anomalies, the Times of India reported. He wrote to the district collector asking him to file a complaint against the home. Following this a committee was formed to look into the matter and it submitted a report to him.
Social Defence Officer Mayank Trivedi and the Child Welfare Committee officials visited the home and found that the inmates were made to wear the cross around their necks and made to read the Bible. They also found that since February 10 the home has been involved in activities that intentionally hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. He filed a complaint with the Makarpura police accusing the home of converting young girls.
Makarpura police has filed an FIR based on the complaint which mentions that during the social security officer’s visit it was found that “girls at the home were being forced to read Christian religious texts and participate in prayers of Christian faith, with the intention of steering them into Christianity“. Allegedly a young Hindu woman was married off to Christian man as per Christian traditions without the permission of the district collector which is mandatory. A Punjabi woman is said to have been converted to Christianity as well after she took refuge in the shelter home.
However she is said to have gone missing and police are on the lookout for her to ascertain facts. Officials have started taking the statements of the inmates and employees. The home has been booked under sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage feelings of any class by insulting its religious beliefs), 298 (deliberately uttering words to wound the religious feelings of a person) and the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2003.
Missionaries of Charity has denied these allegations and plays victim card asking whether keeping Bibles is wrong. Their spokesperson said that the girls were merely following the staff’s habits of reading the Bible and praying. Missionaries of Charity was embroiled in illegal activities such as converting tribals and selling babies earlier. Founded by a so-called saint, Mother Teresa, the organization runs orphanages and shelter homes across the country in almost every district.
Their shelter home in Jharkhand was found to have sold babies born to unwed mothers who took refuge at the institute. It had also hidden information about two former inmates who were sexually abused. At that time, the Women and Children Development minister Maneka Gandhi had ordered a thorough inspection of every institute run by Missionaries of Charity. However nothing seems to have come of that as they continue to involve in illegal activities.