Chennai: The Child Welfare Committee is in the news for wrong reasons. The panel should look out for missing children. However, it is alleged that members are picking up the wrong ones.
For instance, a girl from Assam has been in Chennai without her parents for the last two months. She was waiting for her mother outside the restroom at Chennai Central station two months ago.
Her mother had given her a bag and asked her to wait. Child helpline members at the station claim to have rescued the child, mistaking her as a missing child.
But members had waited only for 20 minutes. Since she could not communicate properly she was mistaken as a ‘missing child.’
Sheila Charles Manohar, a CWC member, said the child helpline members thought that she was a missing child as her mother did not return after 20 minutes.
“Her mother had left without her. She had filed a complaint with the Chennai Central railway police as well as CWC in Assam. But often there are cases where they purposely abandon their kids because of poverty. So we thought it to be a similar case,” she said.
When asked about the criteria, she said since CWC worked for the protection and care of children, if it found small children all alone, it picked them up as ‘missing children.’
Further, the child had been handed over to an NGO and was currently at Bala Mandir Kamaraj trust. As her mother was not economically sound to come to Chennai and take the child back, Ms. Sheila said the CWC was trying to do its best to send her back.
In another case, a mentally challenged boy was picked up in front of his house at Washermanpet. The members were there in the locality. They waited for half an hour for someone to come and pick him up. As no one came, they handed the boy over to CWC. He is now with his parents after spending two days in committee’s protection....
Location: Tamil Nadu