A Children Home Sans Children

IMPHAL, Mar 17: Apart from lack of basic infrastructures, no inmates were found in a Children Home being run with grant-in-aid from the State Govt in Chan-del district of Manipur.

Yet, the Destitute Children Home at Liwachaning village of Chandel district has been receiving grant-in-aid from the State Govt till 2009-2010. For 2010-2011, the said Children Home has not received the grant-in-aid just like other nine Children Home in the State which is being run with financial assistance from the State Govt as the Govt has not yet released the grant.

For ensuring the rights of destitute children, the General Assembly of United Nations had adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on November 30, 1989.

In accordance to CRC, every child, whether destitute or otherwise, should be entitled to the rights for survival, development, protection and participation.

However, in Manipur, it is altogether a different story. Even though grant-in-aid are being provided to run Children Homes for the protection of destitute children, the related authorities of the Dept concerned has not been paying adequate attention to the requirement of such Children Homes or taking up necessary action to fix responsibility if such Children Homes were found not operating properly.

On the other hand, there is also lack of sincerity on the part of the NGOs running such Children Homes, thereby depriving the rights of the destitute children. What more could be said, there are NGOs which are running such Children Homes just to mint money all in the name of protecting the rights of destitute children.

Accompanied by a media team, officials of Coalition on Children’s Rights to Protection (CCRP) today con- ducted an inspection at the Destitute Children Home located at Liwachaning village of Chandel district and found no inmate in it.

The said Children Home has the capacity of housing 25 inmates and the State Government has been providing grant-in-aid for running the Home every year.

Set up in 1975, the media team learnt that the Children Home at Liwachaning is being run by Liwachaning Women Society and it started receiving grant-in-aid from the State Government since 1978.

Consequently, the Government gave its recognition to the Children Home in 2009 under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. Under the provisions of this Act, the inmates are supposed to be given access to education, vocational training, health care and treatment and other necessary development and rehabilitation measures.

From the side of the said Children Home, it was also learnt that a proposal had been submitted sometime earlier to the Government for increasing the intake capacity from the present 25 to 50 children.

However, when the inspection team visited the Children Home today, no inmates could be found and the building was in dilapidated condition. There was also no fending around the campus or reading room, toilet and facilities for drinking water and electricity. Yet, one Superintendent, one Case worker, one Home Mother, one Cook, one Chowkidar and one Counselor have been appointed on the pay roll of the Children Home.

Nonetheless, secretary of the Destitute Children Home TS Morison asserted that following the failure of the Government to release fund for 2010-2011, the Liwachaning Women Society has been finding lot of difficulties in running the Children Home. So, the members of the Society decided to give shelter to the inmates in their respective private homes. The Society has in all 14 members.

The inmates would be brought back and the Children Home would resume operation on receiving the pending grant, Morison said.

Interacting with the inspection team, Member secretary of Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Chandel Moses Maring informed that since the establishment of Chandel unit of CWC two inspections have been conducted at the Destitute Children Home at Liwachaning and the reports submitted to the Department concerned.

Moreover, taking into consideration of lack of necessary infrastructures and trust, nine inmates from the Children Home at Liwachaning have been shifted to a Children Home in Thoubal district without the help of CWC, Chandel, Moses Maring disclosed.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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