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Home » Opinion » Nitish Kumar’s ‘Sushasan’ is a ‘Kushasan’ for Women and Girls of Bihar

Nitish Kumar’s ‘Sushasan’ is a ‘Kushasan’ for Women and Girls of Bihar

By Saurav Kumar
Updated on :
Nitish Kumar's 'Sushasan' is a 'Kushasan' for Women and Girls of Bihar

Bihar, exactly a year ago had hit headline of every media house. The reason was the shocking political masterstroke by Nitish Kumar for his survival as Bihar’s Chief Minister anyhow by hook or crook.

Year after, it is again in headlines but this time it is not about settling political scores rather it is about a bone-chilling derogatory set of incidents which never happened in the state of Bihar. An NGO that ran the Bihar government-funded shelter home in Muzaffarpur where at least 34 minor girls were drugged, tortured and raped has shaken whole nation hanging all of our head in shame.

Brajesh Thakur, the main culprit of dreadful incidents ran Seva Sankalp Samiti is known to have a good network with ruling parties like JDU, BJP, and government officials. He mastered the ability to have the link in the state’s political centre such as Patna & Muzaffarpur. Last year, Bihar government’s Social Welfare Department asked Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to carry out an audit of Shelter home situated in different districts. In a chapter titled “Grave Concerns”, the report, lists specific complaints by inmates & residents. Here are insights from 14 such organization from different districts of the state which shows utmost brutality in name of a government funded organization.

Muzaffarpur shelter home case: Endless agony of rape survivors beyond imagination

  1. Girls’ short stay home in Muzaffarpur NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti: Running in a highly questionable manner with grave instances of violence… Several girls reported about violence and being abused sexually. This is very serious and needs to be further investigated promptly… The girls had no access to any sort of open space and were literally locked up in their wards, except for when they went to the dining hall to take their meals. Vocational training and recreation were also missing.
  2. Boys’ home in Motihari NGO Nirdesh: Serious physical violence and sexual abuse reported by residents. One of the staff members was reported to be involved in severe physical violence. Another pattern of abuse we encountered in this home involved the staff beating all children when a child or a group of children made mistakes. When asked to elaborate upon the mistakes they could make in other for it to qualify as one deserving of a beating, these were some of the reasons they cited- ‘badmashi karna’ (naughty behavior), ‘bhaagne ki koshish karna’ (trying to escape), ‘aapas mein ladai karna’(fighting amongst each other) … The older boys were clubbed in for accommodation with the younger boys. Boys from both the groups reported sexual abuse and violence.
  3. Boys’ home in Bhagalpur run by NGO Rupam Pragati Samaj Samiti: Only one member from the staff was reported to be in support of the children, for which he was being targeted by NGO secretary. Financial malpractice was also alleged by the NGO There were a huge stock of letters (in the complaint box) written by the residents, providing details of violence. RTO Ms Rekha was mentioned in almost all letters, being the most abusive both verbally & physically.
  4. Boys’ home in Munger run by NGO Panaah: The boys reported being forced to work for the superintendent, whose residential quarters were in the same premises. They were made to cook and clean for him and if they refused, they were beaten up. One of the older boys, suffering from hearing and speech impairment, and supposedly a good cook, showed us a three-inch-long scar across his cheek from the previous time he was hit by the superintendent. A young boy about 7 year old, suffering from hearing & speech impairment was devoid of his hearing aid by the staff. The report added that the boys’ shelter was housed in a building which also had an observation home for juvenile boys.
  5. Boys’ home in Gaya run NGO DORD: Running in a custodial and exploitative manner, boys were always locked up. Some boys said some female staff members were forcing them to write lewd messages and pass them to other female staff members who joined recently. Upon being enquired if they were being beaten up, the children replied in affirmation. Some boys also complained of being beaten up.
  6. Government-run observation home in Araria: The report mentions a security guard appointed by Bihar Police who carried out “extreme violence” on the boys. “One of the older boys showed us a mark that went across his entire chest and looked like a compression of muscle tissues in the area and swelling around it,” it says. The boys had intense feeling of hatred towards this particular guard. One of the boys stated- “Is jagah ka naam sudhaar grih se badal kar bigaad grih kar dena chahiye” (This place should be renamed from Correction home to Destruction home).
  7. Short stay home for girls in Patna NGO IKARD: One of the RTOs and the Accountant were found to be verbally and physically abusive. The report says a girl was reported to have committed suicide because of the violent atmosphere at the shelter. Several girls complained of getting no clothes, medicines and toiletries, etc.
  8. Short stay home for girls and women in Motihari run by NGO Sakhi: Physical violence especially against women and girls suffering from mental illness was reported. Many girls reported about not receiving of sanitary pads regularly.
  9. Short stay home for girls in Munger run by Novelty Welfare Society: It had sub-let a part of the building for a monthly rent of Rs 10,000. The bathrooms had no latches from inside. A girl suffering from mental illness was found locked in a room sitting on a wooden cot without mattress.
  10. Short stay home for girls in Madhepura NGO Mahila Chetna Vikaa Mandal: Reported to be “coercive”. One girl reported to have been brought here forcibly from the streets and was not allowed to leave or call her family.
  11. Short stay home for girls in Kaimur NGO Gram Swaraj Sewa Sansthan: Inmates complained that a security guard was “sexually abusive”. “The women/ girls reported that he often passed lewd comments and has inappropriate conduct. The fact that the security guard manages day-to-day affairs at the home provides him undue power and authority over the residents,” says the report.
  12. Sewa Kutir, Gaya run by Metta Buddha Trust: The living environment was suspicious. The residents were found sitting huddled up together in the hall. Some of the staff members were found hovering and gesturing to the residents while the conversation with officials of TISS. The home was found to be running in a highly controlling manner.
  13. Kaushal Kutir in Patna run by Don Bosco Tech Society: This institution was reported to have physical violence and verbal abuse. One of the female caretakers, who was once homeless herself was found to be abusive towards the female residents.
  14. Three specialized Adoption Agencies- Patna’s ‘Nari Gunjan’, Madhubani’s ‘RVESK’and KAimur’s ‘Gyan Bharti’ were found to be running in a condition that is life threatening for the residents. There were few caretakers as against the number of babies and children who lived there. The infrastructure was inappropriate, premises were unhygienic and children in home were seemed to be hungry and unhappy.


A local politician, Brajesh Thakur is believed to have close relations with several BJP and JD(U) leaders. He had contested the Assembly election in 1995 and 2000 from Kudhani in Muzaffarpur as a candidate of the Bihar People’s Party, then an NDA ally, but lost. He was PIB accredited journalist which recently got scrapped. He also runs a vernacular newspaper Pratah Kamal from the same building in which the shelter home is located, and was in the State press accreditation committee too. His newspaper, despite having a very low circulation, was empanelled by the government’s Public Relations Department and has been the beneficiary of government advertisements worth crores of rupees. In 2013, Brajesh signed an agreement with the social welfare department to run shelter homes for minor girls and destitute women in Muzaffarpur.

Despite allegations by TISS about manhandling of inmates at home shelter. Bihar government sanctioned a new project for Brajesh Thakur’s Muzaffarpur based NGO Seva Sankalp Samiti. Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, whose husband too was accused of visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home frequently, says there are 110 such shelter and short-stay homes in the State for girls and women, “but we’ve reports of irregularities at only five of them, while the rest are doing well.” However, the 100-page TISS report said officials had pointed out several discrepancies at over a dozen shelter and short-stay homes, including at Motihari, Chhapra, Sasaram, Bhabhua, Vaishali, Gaya, Munger, Madhepura and other places. After the arrest of Brajesh Thakur, a senior police officer had received calls from six past and present union ministers. Bihar government initially maintained a stand of not having CBI enquiry into this horrifying institutional mass rape. DGP K.S.Dwivedi said he was satisfied with an investigation conducted by the department. After outrage by opposition parties, order for CBI enquiry got a nod.

Bihar Commission for Protection of Child Rights (BSCPCR) Chief Dr. H.Kaur has revealed, she wrote to the Social Welfare Ministry about ill activities of Seva Sankalp Samiti headed by Brajesh Thakur & urged to take strict actions against it but it wasn’t done. Nitish Kumar & his Ministers are accountable to these questions:

  1. Why Bihar govt. denied CBI enquiry, initially?
  2. Why cognizance and observation of BSCPCR Chief were ignored by Welfare Department?
  3. Why there was no audit every year by the Government itself?

The Muzaffarpur incident is not the only case of women and minor girls being targeted in the state in the past few weeks raising serious questions over the law and order situation in the state under the Nitish government. There have been more than half-a-dozen separate incidents in past months where women have been sexually molested by a group of men in various parts of the state and their videos have gone viral. The “Sushashan” for women/girls has practically turned into “Kushashan”. We as a nation must not forget to recognize righteous conscience of “Team Koshish” whose field-action programme under Tata Institute of Social Sciences led from the front by its Director Young-Turk, Mohammad Tarique truthfully conducted “Social Audit” of 110 institutions from 9 divisions and 35 districts of Bihar in an extremely tight time frame. This scrutiny blew up the lid exposing the horror which destroyed lives of many girls which is just the tip of the iceberg.

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