In the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case and Aasra short-stay home case in Patna, Non-Government Organisations managing the government-funded 110 such homes in Bihar are offering to surrender their contract with the State’s Social Welfare Department. The CBI, investigating the Muzaffarpur sexual abuse case, has speeded up the investigation.TISS reportEarlier, in its 100-page report, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) had raised fingers at several NGOs running shelter and short-stay homes in different districts of Bihar where instances of sexual and physical abuse with the inmates were reported. Besides Muzaffarpur, the TISS social audit report had red-flagged 14 other such homes for abuse.Among the several NGOs which have offered to surrender their contract with the State Social Welfare Department is the one managed by Padma Shri award winner Sister Sudha Varghese. Sister Varghese runs an NGO to manage a shelter home for trafficked women and girls in the border district of Purnia. “I’ve written to the Social Welfare Department that I want to surrender my contract for Purnia shelter home as I feel it is difficult to manage that from Patna… if something unpleasant happens, I cannot reach there before 8 hours… so I decided to surrender my contract,” Ms. Varghese told local journalists. The Purnia shelter home run by her keeps about 65 girls, some of them trafficked, some mentally challenged and sick. Ms. Varghese was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 for her pioneering work with the marginalised section of society. She also runs an adoption agency in Danapaur locality, near Patna.23 contracts cancelled“Until now, six NGOs have offered to surrender their contracts with the Department… this has come in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home and Aasra short-stay home controversies,” said Department Director Raj Kumar. The Department, he said, has also cancelled contracts of 23 NGOs running shelter homes for girls, boys and beggars in the State in the past few months. He added that some Department officials too have been trying to get transferred to other departments. “We’ve asked the NGOs to continue till alternative arrangements are being made and we’ve also floated tender for a new set-up managed by the government,” he said. Earlier, the State government had announced that it would run all shelter and short-stay homes.Meanwhile, the CBI has speeded up its probe and conducted searches at several places and questioned many people. State Urban Development Department Minister Suresh Sharma, though, has refused to resign from his post as demanded by the Opposition RJD leader, Tejaswi Yadav. Mr. Yadav also ‘threatened’ to ‘expose’ if Mr. Sharma did not resign.“I’ll file a defamation suit against Tejaswi Yadav for dragging my name into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case,” said Mr. Sharma who represents the Muzaffarpur Assembly seat on a BJP ticket.