Nepal Children's Organization -- former head of NCO/Bal Mandir adoptions arrested for child rape.
Two held on rape charge
KATHMANDU: Two suspects have been arrested behind alleged rape of three young girls living in a public orphanage, Nepal Children’s Organisation, popularly known as Balmandir. Police arrested Rabin Shrestha, a former employee of Balmandir, and Rabin Chalise, the current president of Balmandir Club, following the complaints of rape and sexual abuse at the orphanage lodged by Action for Child Rights International-Nepal. (PR)
Posted on: 2014-06-21 08:54
Action for Child Rights International Nepal
Police Investigate Rape at Orphanage
KATHMANDU, June 20th, 2014. Action for Child Rights International-Nepal (ACRI/Nepal) feels obliged to break the silence regarding the current police investigation into the alleged abuse of three young girls, due to the ongoing harassments directed at the organization.
On Tuesday, June 17th, 2014, ACRI/Nepal received the testimonies of three young girls who are residents of Nepal Children’s Organization, Balmandir, with allegations of repeated rape and abuse. Due to the severity of the allegations, ACRI/Nepal felt it necessary to report the incidents to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) immediately.
Based on the horrific nature of the testimonies given by the girls, describing the vulgar acts repeatedly taken upon them, the CIB brought the three main suspects in for questioning that same day.
The initial investigation and medical evidence proved strong enough for the police to arrest two of the suspects; Rabin Shrestha, a previous employee of Balmandir, and Rabin Chalise, the current president of the NGO Balmandir Club and previous student of Balmandir. Both are currently being held in custody as the investigation continues.
Although ACRI/Nepal is greatly impressed by the professionalism and drive of the CIB investigators working on the case, we are concerned about the onslaught of harassments directed toward them and our own team.
After receiving the testimonies of the young girls, ACRI/Nepal considered it our ethical duty and responsibility to report such information to the authorities, as it would be of any other person or organization.
Regardless of how shocked those involved may be at the moment, we have faith that all parties will fully cooperate with the CIB and police and take the responsibility of supporting the investigation. Not only to prosecute the accused and support the victims, but to ensure the safety to all of the other young girls currently living in Balmandir.
Therefore, ACRI/Nepal requests that all those involved will regain their composure and immediately stop the unnecessary harassments directed toward the CIB, police and our team. The only thing being asked is the opportunity for the police to carry out a professional investigation. There are no ulterior motives or personal attacks directed toward any specific person or organization. The only concern of ACRI/Nepal is that of the victims and their right to justice.
About Action for Child Rights International Nepal
Action for Child Rights International Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the rights of children and their families in Nepal. Our main focus is on children whose rights have been violated while under the care of child care institutions. With teams in Antwerp and Kathmandu, ACRI/Nepal utilizes its international strength to apply pressure where needed and take the necessary actions to defend each victim individually. Through strategic public campaigns, both locally and internationally, ACRI/Nepal strives to inform the public on the ongoing issues facing child protection issues and provide solutions and resources for those in need. For more information, please visit: www.acr-int.org
Contact: Salina Tamang
Address: Chunnebhairab Marg, Kuleshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal
Ex-Bal Mandir Employee, Student Held On Rape Charge
KATHMANDU, June 18: Two individuals previously associated with Nepal Children's Organization (NCO), one of the country's oldest orphanages, have been taken under control by police for investigations into a rape charge leveled against them by three minor girls.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police arrested a former NCO student and a former NCO employee - identified as Rabin Chalise and Rabin Shrestha respectively - after three minor girls living in NCO´s Naxal orphanage, also known as Nepal Bal Mandir, complained about being sexually exploited.
SP Pitambar Adhikari, spokesperson for the CIB, confirmed the arrest of Chalise and Shrestha but refused to divulge details. "Both are now in our custody for investigations," said Adhikari. "But, we are not yet in a position to divulge any details."
A team of CIB officials had arrested the two on Tuesday. The same day, the CIB, in coordination with the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), shifted the three minor girls to a safe house run by some other NGO. All three girls are believed to be below 15 years of age. They say they had been facing exploitation for a long time but mustered the courage to speak up only recently.
Subash Pokharel, general secretary of NCO, however, maintained that none of the girls living in any Bal Mandir orphanage has had to be rescued in recent weeks. "All the girls are with us," he said. He also claimed that neither Chalishe nor Shrestha are associated with the NCO. "I don´t know what ties they had with NCO in the past," he said. "They are currently not affiliated with us. Whether they had any ties with the NCO in the past makes no difference. Whatever they do should not be linked with us."
However, sources said that Chalishe is chairman of a club of former NCO students and enjoyed easy access to the Bal Mandir orphanages. As for Pokharel´s denial of rescue of the three minor girls, a CIB official involved in the investigation said that the girls are officially still with NCO. "They have been shifted just for the time being," said the official. "We did it considering the possibility that their continuing stay at the same orphanage might affect our investigations in some way."
The CIB swung into action after Action for Child Rights International (ACRI), an NGO, drew police attention to the matter. In a statement issued on Friday, ACRI said that initial investigations and medical evidence were strong enough ground for the police to arrest Chalishe and Shrestha.
Published on 2014-06-20 22:00:00
Rabin Shrestha (one of the alleged child rapists) was the longtime head of NCO/Bal Mandir adoptions.
Act. Section Chief
Nepal Children’s Organization
Bal Mandir, Naxal, P.O. Box: 6967 Kathmandu Nepal Tel: 977-1-4410844 Fax: 977-1-4414485
Photo -- Rabin (on left) receiving educational materials for Bal Mandir:
NCO website (Internet Archive -- June 2010):
Acting Chief, Adoption Section
20100628112134/http://www. nconepal.org/front/ staffmember.php?name=Central% 20Office,%20Naxal
Even back in 2004, Rabin was working for NCO -- here helping an American family adopt a son:
'Who are you here for?'
KATHMANDU, Nepal - It was almost two years to the day after we started taking adoption classes that Yogendra first pointed his smile directly at us. A human sunbeam. After flying halfway around the world, we were jet-lagged, over-caffeinated and jumpy. After two years of frustration, filling out forms and riding an emotional roller coaster, we were finally in Bal Mandir orphanage (pronounced "Ball Mandeer"). When you climb out of the car at the orphanage's front doors, adorable children rush up to you shouting, "What country? What country?" "America," we responded. "Ah, America!" they replied. "Who are you here for?" "Yogendra," we answered. "Yogendra is going to America!" they shout excitedly to each other, bouncing up and down. A child brought to Bal Mandir the same day as Yogendra was on his way to Italy. Another girl they know is on her way to Spain. A girl from another orphanage, whose adopting parents were on the same flights to Kathmandu as we were, is in Oklahoma. She seemed happy to go. They all seem happy to go. Chatting nervously with orphanage director Rabin Shrestha in his office, I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye: A tiny boy appeared from around the corner, materializing all eyes and smile. He stood smiling for a moment, crawled into my lap, put his head on my shoulder and whispered, "daddy." We hugged and I passed him over to my wife. He put his arms around her neck and whispered, "mommy." We passed him over to our 13-year-old daughter, Morgan. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered "diddi," the Nepalese word for older sister.
I was a puddle, everyone was in tears, even Rabin who sees this every day. I looked at Yogi and said, of all things: "What color car do you want?" Adopting an older child from a foreign country is a little like picking up a lay-away package. You pay some fees, fill out a couple final forms and they hand him over. From that moment on, he's yours. The problems this one came with were medical and minor, not emotional, though all the experts tell us he's supposed of have a bunch of abandonment and attachment issues. About an hour and a half later, my daughter, Morgan, was carrying him in her arms out Bal Mandir's front doors while I followed, filming the event. He smiled and waved to the camera, he smiled and waved to the other kids, he smiled and waved to the staff. He jumped into the car to leave forever. Moments later, the driver motored out Bal Mandir's front gates with Yogendra in the back seat facing forward toward his new life. He did not look back. He did not stop smiling. Bleak choices About 10 days later, the night before we were to fly to Colorado on the other side of the world, we struck up a conversation with a bellman in our hotel. He asked Yogendra if he knew what was happening the next day. In Nepalese he replied, "I'm getting on an airplane and going to America with my family." That bellman was about the only Nepali Yogendra would talk to, so we asked him to prod the boy for a little of his life's story. It's not a happy story. As close as anyone can place it, he's 5, which means he's not old enough to remember much of the turmoil engulfing the country - the Maoist revolution to overthrow Nepal's government. His home province, however, was one of the first places the Maoists swept through. He said his parents are old, although it's not clear if he's talking about his Nepali parents or us. He said his mother is dead, and that a man - some sort of male authority figure - brought him to Kathmandu.
He told the bellman, in Nepalese, that he's from a part of Nepal called Jumla. He said it took a long time to travel. "Days," he said, although he is not sure how many. We scrambled for a map and with the bellman's help we learned that Jumla is both a province and a village in remote western Nepal. The bellman patiently explained that the village is at least a two-day walk from the nearest passable road. Yogendra and the man who hauled him had to get to that road, where they could catch a bus. They rode that bus at least two days to reach Kathmandu. It took a day or so for the man to learn the best part of the city in which he could leave Yogendra so the boy would be found quickly. With a Himalayan winter approaching and unrest all around, the choices appeared bleak: freeze to death or starve to death. Whoever this man was - maybe his father - he did the tough thing: He transported this boy to safety and a chance at life. No one knows how long it really took them to get to Kathmandu, how long it took to find the correct part of the city, how long they were there together, how long Yogendra was alone - or if that's what happened at all. No one knows what happened to that brave man. No one will ever know. All anyone knows for certain is that when the police finally found Yogendra, huddled in a concrete corner, he was crying, screaming and all he could tell them was his first name. And we know that he is ours, and that we're just as lucky as he. The police picked up six other kids the same day in the same part of the city. That was Nov. 1, 2003.
Now Nepal Children's Organization (Nepal Bal Sangathan -- commonly known as Bal Mandir) is arguably the most controversial NGO in South Asia.
It has long been the center of child trafficking allegations.
Nepal -- Victims of Balmandir (Pound Pup Legacy):
"It is known that in the process of selling children and taking commission present office secretary Rajeshwor Niraula, President Rita Singh Baidya, employee Ram Krishna Subedi, some police personnel and some child trafficking agents are involved."
Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web (PEAR Nepal):
The Terre des hommes/Image Ark documentary on adoption trafficking in Humla (reputed NCO/Bal Mandir kidnappings). Some Humli children ended up in India -- others in the inter-country adoption trade.
Children for sale (Al Jazeera):
The documentary opens with a Bal Mandir case.
The NGO also faces allegations of corruption.
Corruption at Nepal Children's Organization (NCO/Bal Mandir):
"Unfortunately, due to severe corruption within NCO, we had to cancel the project as we were not confident that we would be able to deliver on the objectives without risking Mitrataa’s reputation as an organisation that refuses to pay bribes."
In 2006, the French Foreign Service formally blacklisted NCO/Bal Mandir:
En raison d’une succession de dossiers d’adoption problématiques, et après divers témoignages négatifs de familles adoptantes, il est formellement déconseillé aux familles candidates à une adoption au Népal d’effectuer des démarches auprès des orphelinats « Swastik » et « Nepal Children’s Organization », également dénommé « Bal Mandir ».
Les témoignages recueillis par l’Ambassade de France à Kathmandou font en effet état de sollicitations financières inacceptables, de grande opacité et de lenteurs inexpliquées dans le déroulement des procédures d’adoption menées auprès de ces orphelinats.
Compte tenu du contexte actuel des adoptions au Népal, les familles candidates à une adoption dans ce pays sont invitées à observer la plus grande vigilance dans la conduite de leur procédure.
The chairman of Nepal Children's Organization is Reeta Singh Vaidya:
Board of Directors
Reeta Singh Vaidya
Tulasi Narayan Shrestha
Subash K Pokharel
Manohar Gopal Shrestha
Deputy General Secretary
Deepak Das Shrestha
Bir Singh Karki
Bishnu Bahadur Shahi
Chij Kumar Shrestha
Kamal Deep Shrestha
Kiran Babu Shrestha
Krishna Shankar Shah
Reeta Singh Vaidya is the sister of Prakash Man Singh (the current Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and the General Secretary of the Nepali Congress Party):
Reeta and Prakash Man Singh are children of the late Ganesh Man Singh -- the "Father of Democracy" in Nepal:
Reeta Singh Vaidya (also known as Rita Singh Vaidya, Rita Singh Baidya, Reeta Singh Baidya, Rita Singh Baidhya, or Reeta Singh Baidhya) is a member of the Child NGO Federation Nepal, another controversial organization in Kathmandu.
She is listed as the contact for the:
Bir Ganeshman Bal Prativa Puraskar Trust
Mrs. Reeta Singh Baidya
(A trust in memory of the late Ganesh Man Singh.)
The Kathmandu Post:
Ganeshman Singh Trust to award Bipaswi
On the occasion of the 96th birth anniversary of the late Nepali Congress leader, Bir Ganeshman Singh Children’s Talent Award Trust on Saturday announced to honour 10-year-old Bipaswi Poudyal.
Organising a press conference, Rita Singh Baidhya, president of the executive committee of the Trust, said that Poudyal would be given the Bir Ganeshman Singh Children’s Talent Award 2011 for showing extraordinary talent in the world stage and bagging the titles of Little Miss World Nepal 2011 and Little Miss World 2011. "She has contributed a lot in increasing the country’s pride," she said.
kathmandu-post/2011/10/29/ metro/ganeshman-singh-trust- to-award-bipaswi/227629.html
Former NCO/Bal Mandir board member and controversial adoption facilitator Prachanda Raj Pradhan represents the Ganeshman Singh Trust on the CNFN Executive Committee:
Mr. Prachanda Raj Pradhan, I P President
Bir Ganeshman Bal Prativa Puraskar Trust
In 2010, eight embassies wrote asking that the CNFN be removed from all adoption related activities. Pradhan, then head of the CNFN, accused the embassies of being "revengeful."
For more on the Child NGO Federation Nepal, see PEAR Nepal:
Prachanda Raj Pradhan -- head of the Child NGO Federation Nepal (CNFN)
Pradhan is currently Vice-chairman of the Nepal Law Commission:
np/index.php?option=com_ contact&view=contact&id=38: prachanda-raj-pradhan&catid= 12:officials&lang=en
While current CNFN Vice-chairman Dilli Ram Giri heads the Central Child Welfare Board:
Child NGO Federation Nepal -- Executive Committee:
Mr. Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal
Mahendra Narayan Nedhi Memorial Foundation (MNNMF)
Mr. Dilli Ram Giri
Society for Integrated Allied - Nepal (SIAN)
Mrs. Pratima Pathak Mudhvary
Women for Women Forum
Mr. Manoj Kumar Kandel
Mr. Kedar Dahal
World Wide Organization for Relations and Link Development-Nepal - Children Home (WORLD Nepal)
Mr. Ramesh Dhamala
Mr. Prachanda Raj Pradhan, I P President
Bir Ganeshman Bal Prativa Puraskar Trust
Mr. Dhirendra Lamsal
Network for Children, Prisoners and Dependants (NCPD)
Mr. Maniraj Shrestha
Portage and Rehabilitation Association Nepal (PRAN)
Mrs. Aruna Karmacharya
Society for Each Other
Mrs. Sulochana Sharma Sigdel
Shakarya Nepal, Kaski
Mr. Suresh Kumar Bhatta
Nepal Children Orphan Home (NECO-HOME)
Ms. Sushma Pokharel
S O S - Children Village Nepal
Mrs. Sadhana Ghimire
Nepal Child Development Center (NCDC)
Mr. Yubaraj Bidrohi
Forum for Child Concern in Nepal
Ms. Chandra Prabha Upadhaya
Social Development Campaign, Nepal
For more on CNFN Secretary Kedar Dahal and CNFN General Secretary Manoj Kumar Kandel, see Trade of Children (PEAR Nepal):
Kedar Dahal is also a former NCO/Bal Mandir board member:
Update -- 1 July 2014
For more on the scandal, see Pound Pup Legacy:
Nepal — Rabin Shrestha (alleged child rapist) & Action for Child Rights International
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.