Thane: It was meant to be their refuge from a world that seemed to have no place for them. But eight children claim that the shelter they live in has been their private hell.
For the last five years, these children say, they were made to strip for a trustee of their shelter in Thane, Mumbai. Sometimes, they were made to dance naked for him. Occasionally, they claim, he would make them lie down next to him, threatening that he would sodomize them if they didn't agree.
The children claim they asked for help repeatedly, and shared their story with the managing trustee who runs their home. Instead of helping them, she reportedly made them work at her house.
A local reporter helped record the children's account; that has now formed the basis of a police case against the shelter and its trustees.
The shelter houses close to 65 children, who are either orphans, or have been abandoned by families who can't afford to look after them.
The trustee accused of molesting the children is being questioned by the police.