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Indian state denies Christian orphanage new permit

Well-known adoption center says it has fallen victim to a conspiracy by Madhya Pradesh officials
An orphaned Indian baby girl is placed in a cradle by a nun at The Matruchhaya Orphanage which is run by The Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Trust in Nadiad some 60kms. from Ahmedabad in this Oct 29, 2011 file photo

An orphaned Indian baby girl is placed in a cradle by a nun at The Matruchhaya Orphanage which is run by The Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Trust in Nadiad some 60kms. from Ahmedabad in this Oct 29, 2011 file photo. (Photo: AFP)

Published: September 12, 2023 03:32 AM GMT
Updated: September 12, 2023 07:19 AM GMT

A central Indian state has refused to renew the permit of a Christian orphanage, accusing it of running boys’ and girls’ hostels under one license.

The Department for Women and Child Development in Madhya Pradesh refused to renew the permit of the orphanage managed by Adharshila Sansthan (Cornerstone Institution), run by a Protestant couple, in Damoh district.

Madhya Pradesh is ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We have running this orphanage since 2005 and have complied with all legal formalities,” said a senior orphanage official.

Nearly 18 children from the orphanage have been adopted by couples from foreign countries and 27 children were adopted by Indian couples from different parts of the country.

Currently, the orphanage has 11 girls and five boys ready for adoption and they will be moved to other orphanages in the state.

“It seemed to be a planned conspiracy to target our institution"

“Our institution is a government-recognized adoption center and we accommodate orphans referred to us either by the district child welfare committee or courts,” the official who did not want to be named told UCA News on Sept. 11.

“The main reason cited to dismiss our application to renew the license was that we were running boys’ and girls’ hostels under one registration which is not prohibited under the law,” the official said.

The state child rights panel on Sept. 5 accused Adharshila Sansthan of not complying with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

“It seemed to be a planned conspiracy to target our institution that has been serving the poor for close to two decades,” the official noted.

Praksha Pathak, Damoh district chairperson of the child rights panel, told UCA News on Sept. 11 that we “will take a call on shifting the children in the orphanage.” 

She, however, refused to divulge details, saying, “These are confidential issues which cannot be shared with the media.”

"The state government has initiated a campaign against Christian institutions"

According to Church officials, the state government has initiated a campaign against Christian institutions like schools, hostels, and orphanages in Madhya Pradesh, where a sweeping anti-conversion law has been in full force since 2021.

On Nov. 13, 2022, Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, filed a complaint against 10 people, including founder Dr. Ajay Lall, after a raid on the orphanage run by Adharshila Sansthan.

In the complaint, Kanoongo accused the orphanage of violating the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act. The case is still under investigation.

Kanoongo and his team have filed complaints against several Christian-run institutions, accusing them of violating the state’s anti-conversion law. 

The accused include senior Church leaders, including a bishop, priests, and nuns.

Madhya Pradesh has been ruled by the pro-Hindu BJP for two decades with the exception of one and a half years from 2018 to 2020.

Christians make up a mere 0.29 percent of the more than 72 million people in the state, of whom more than 80 percent are Hindus.

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10 Comments on this Story
DR MICHAEL NORONHA
Please wait for sometime. Once a new government of Mr Kamalnath is installed get a permanent license and restart. Tell the government that the intension was to save the child from being thrown into dust bins to be eaten by dogs. If this is objected to by the government, reject the government as a tax collector. May the government be doomed for its arrogance for ever.
CYRUS
Every true Christian has a heart for uplifting the downtroden. If your fears are only on conversion grounds, then its impossible to press forward the development of every society in terms of education, hygienic and character building. We are not bothered about your fears. Learn from South India and check if there's any forcible conversions. Have a humble heart you leaders.
GLORIA
Seriously, on purpose this government is targeting Christians and Muslims. Bloody hell with this government they will never do anything for the poor and will not allow others to do anything for the welfare of society. Please guys don’t vote for BJP again if you want to live in peace.
SURESH MENON
This govt can only bring religion as a defense because there is NOTHING worthwhile done by them. They survive in hardline Hindu states that have a minimum literacy & education level. This govt cannot survive in the South, where our education level are the highest in the country. Soon, the tide will turn and these senseless jokers will be defeated. India will vote them out. God save India. Bharat Mata ki Jai. Vande Mataram.
ROMEO
Really! What's wrong with the Government? What if in Christian countries like USA,CANADA,Uk do the same things to Hindus like you all done to Christianity in India. #chiefministermadhyaPradesh
MARTIN ANTHONY
Now India has become a place where only animals can service, not normal human.
MATRUCHHAYA ORPHANAGE
I am writing behalf of Matruchhaya Orphanage, Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Trust, Nadiad. I am opposing as you have share photo of Matruchhaya in the News. We have no any problem to run Institution. As you have share photo and information of the institution without permission of the institution, please give us clarification.
SANDEEP PARMAR
I am working in the Matruchhaya Orphanage, Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Trust, Nadiad. We are not facing any problem. We follow all the Rules and Regulation and J.J.Act.
SISTER MINA
Please don't share any picture or information of matruchhaya orphanage. We have no issue of running orphanage.
SR.ROSELY RAPHAEL
I am member of sisters of charity of St. Anne. Till today their is no any issue or problem in our center.
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