Women committees to probe if officials exploiting ashram

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Mumbai, Nov 7 (PTI) Close on the heels of alleged rape of two girls in a tribal residential school in Buldhana district, the government has asked the women committees, mandated to study the living conditions of girls in such facilities across state, to find out whether officials have been asking the students to do their domestic work at odd hours.

A government circular dated November 5 gave a 13-point agenda to these committees, asking them to find out whether the staff quarters of male employees are located far from the dormitories of girl students residing at the ashram shalas (tribal boarding schools).

Police have so far arrested 15 people in connection with the rape of two girls at Nimbaji Kokare Aided Primary Ashram School at Pala in Khamgaon tehsil, allegedly by accused Ittusingh Pawar, a former sweeper at the facility.

The committees were set up on the direction of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently. They are tasked with visiting all the aided and un-aided ashram shalas to find out the state of affairs there.

The committees are expected to start their visits from November 15. The department has asked the committees to submit their reports to government by November 22.

The other pointers on which the committees are expected to conduct the probe are the availability of adequate and independent rooms for girl students, adequate toilet and washroom facilities per 20 girl students, and their condition, availability of adequate water supply etc.

The committees will also verify if women superintendents have been appointed for dormitories of girl students, if a register is maintained for visitors and about the usage of a toll free complaint number.

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