New Delhi, Aug 6: Saddened by the reports of abuse of resident children and women at shelter homes in Muzaffarpur and Deoria, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has said that she was sure there must be many similar cases because such places lie neglected for years. “It’s not only frightening, it makes me sad. I know there will be many more because, for years and years, we have paid no attention, apart from giving them money,” she said, speaking to ANI.

Looking for a solution, Gandhi said, “I propose that MPs go to institutions in their constituencies and give me reports. I’ll take immediate action. A long-term solution is to make large homes for 1,000 women, 1,000 children, with all-women staff rather than small centres. I’ll sanction the money required.”

Gandhi’s reaction comes on the same day as the Patna High Court sought reports from the CBI and the Bihar government on the Muzaffarpur shelter home case. The court also details from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JDU-BJP government about the rehabilitation of the inmates rescued from the Muzaffarpur shelter home. Kumar also directed district magistrates to inspect child shelter homes and women shelter homes across the state. He has also ordered that adequate security be made at the shelter homes.

Elsewhere, in Uttar Pradesh, police arrested three people, including the manager of a women’s shelter home and her husband, after allegations of sexual exploitation of the residents came to light. While women have been rescued from the shelter home, 18 residents are still missing.