In Bihar, a shelter home has transformed into a house of horror for girls. The survivors gave testimonies of being drugged, starved and raped night after night. Girls, mainly those who are suffering from speech impairment between the ages of 7-18 have alleged that they were served food, which was mixed with sedatives. They also said that they made them sleep naked and were beaten mercilessly at the slightest sign of protest. 

According to reports, the number of girls who were raped went up to 34 on 28 July. 

The children, mostly orphans or lost, were sent to the shelter home by the cops. It was run by the NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Samiti, headed by Brajesh Kumar Thakur who is now in judicial custody along with nine members of the staff.

The drugs were called ‘kide ki dawai’ or deworming medicine. Many children revealed that they were forced to consume this 'kide ki dawai' at night, which induced sleep. They also said that their entire body used to pain in the morning and at times they were kicked in their stomach. 

One girl, who was working as a domestic help, said that a man with a big potbelly would hit her if she rejected to take the ‘medicine’ while another said that the accused Brajesh took her to the office and badly scratched her private parts. She told the court that the scar sometimes turned out to be cut in the body.

The survivors also reported incidents where boiling water and oil were thrown on the children. In pain, a child talked about how she and other children would cut themselves with shards of crushed glass on their hands and legs to prevent being forced into “gandha kaam” (sexual abuse). The police estimate that 470 girls have been brought to the shelter in the last five years.

Neighbours heard the deafening cries of the girls, but no one seems to have complained or raised the alarm. One resident said the girls were never seen moving around the campus of the shelter home or its rooftop. She added that the girls’ quarters had no windows, just ventilators. 

Sounds of painful screams were frequently heard from the home. However, she never got the courage to intervene as Brajesh Thakur was a 'Dabbang' person (muscleman). 

The horror may have remained hidden if the team at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, was not asked to inspect the home and report on instances of violence and abuse.