A pregnant Nigerian woman and her two children was among foreign nationals whose rights were abused and locked away in beggars’home in New Delhi, India, Indian media outlets have reported.
The human rights abuse was revealed when Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwa made a surprise visit to a government-run ‘beggars’ home’ in Delhi and found over 15 foreign nationals, including the pregnant Nigerian woman and her children.
The DCW said it found violation of human rights of several inmates. After she spent a night at the beggar home at Nirmal Chaya Complex in Janakpuri on Tuesday, January 3, the DCW chief has now issued notices to the Social Welfare Department and Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) — a government agency responsible for regulating the extended stay and movement of foreigners in India. Maliwal sought a reply from the FRRO and Social Welfare Department within 72 hours.
“Fifteen women and two children – all foreign nationals — housed in the home… The DCW Chairperson met an Uzbek national who complained of molestation by FRRO officials,” a DCW statement said.
Maliwal found that the Nigerian woman, whose two children were also lodged along with her at the beggar home since December 26, had complained for the past 10 days to the staff that she was no longer feeling any movement in her womb but to no avail.
“She alleged no action was taken to help her. She said she begged the staff to allow her to call her doctor but she was denied the same,” the statement said.
The foreign nationals were detained for overstaying in India for different reasons. Women inmates, who said they were wearing the same clothes for days, complained to Maliwal that they were not allowed to make phone calls to their families or embassies due to which they have not been able to contact anyone for legal or financial assistance.
The women were worried since their families had no idea where they were. The DCW chief found that only two of the five toilets at the beggar home were fit for use. One toilet was marked ‘HIV’, which no one used due to fear of contracting the disease whereas one was locked for use by staff.
Maliwal has since written to the beggar home superintendent to ensure proper medical treatment for the pregnant Nigerian woman and another from Kenya.
“The commission Chairperson was shocked to learn from the inmates that their private parts are physically checked by the caretaker before they are allowed entry into the home. When asked, the caretaker on duty admitted to the same in front of inmates,” the DCW statement said.
A Kenyan national said she was taken six times to a doctor in the complex but he did not conduct any test and her medical problem is persisting.