IMPHAL, June 1: The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Ukhrul has stated in its latest inspection report that children homes in the district lack help and support.
The inspection revealed that as many as 83 percent of the children homes is devoid of any support from the government and is sustained by contributions and donations from individuals. There are shortage of necessary facilities such as dormitory, furniture, toilet and trained staffs in these homes; 50 percent are without basic infrastructural amenities such as power supply, water pipeline connection, and proper buildings. None of the children homes has administered periodical health check-ups nor conducted regular counselling sessions in the past.
Among the six children homes, none of them is run and managed by the state government or recognised by the state Social Welfare Department as non-governmental organisations, and thus remains ineligible for any form of assistance/scheme from the department. Besides, 67 percent are yet to be registered under the Juvenile Justice Act. The report shows that five out of six homes are for boys and girls, one exclusively for boys and none exclusively for the girls.
The report stated that Ukhrul district deserves one government run home at least, especially for girls given the widespread child trafficking cases at the moment.
Of the 176 inmates, 58.52 percent are in the age group between 7-11 years, the sex ratio is overwhelmingly dominated by males, 50.56 percent are on the borderline, 30 percent has one of their parents alive, 17.61 percent are orphans, 1.13 percent is HIV infected, and 75.57 percent do not receive government support. Thus, it can be easily observed that poverty is the main reason for these children’s stay in the homes.
“The main factor responsible for the poor functioning of children homes in Ukhrul is undeniably attributed to lack of funds. Absence of periodical inspection and social auditing on the part of government are also other important aspects.”
“Financial support to the deprived homes; formation of district level inspection committee inclusive of government representatives and community stakeholders; and proper monitoring mechanism and evaluation schedule as per sub-section 1 of section 35 and section 36 of the Juvenile Justice Act are of pressing needs to bring about improvement in the functioning/better quality of services of the children homes,” the inspection report suggested.