Orphaned child cradles cry for authorities' care

No monitoring system to ensure maintenance of ammathottils, admits child welfare council

ALAPPUZHA: Ammathottils (child cradles) were supposed to be the last refuge of infants abandoned by their mothers in the state but the kids can no longer feel safe there as most of them are in a state of degradation due to the absence of proper monitoring.

The State Child Welfare Council, which is responsible for the maintenance of the 15 such facilities, admitted to DC that there was no monitoring system to take care of Ammathottils.

Realising the plight of the Ammathottil in Pathanamthitta that had received at least 22 infants during the last five years, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) had issued an order on December 31 last urging the council to conduct a check on all ammathottil facilities in the state and submit a report. But, nothing has happened so far.

As per the council data, as many as 300 newborns were saved through the ammathottils across the state since 2001, when the first one was set up.

Administrative officer of the council Muhammad Ismail said that the maintenance of ammathottils had been entrusted with Sahya Valley Technologies (P) Ltd, Thiruvananthapuram.

“There were two technicians with the company, but one of them died recently. So, the shortage of hands hit the maintenance work. Earlier, the child welfare council units in every district were conducting regular monitoring. But, they have been replaced by child welfare committees, which enjoy judicial power. So, we cannot force them to do monitoring. This has resulted in the degradation of most ammathottils,” he said.

Ms J. Sandhya, member, KSCPCR, said that the commission was waiting for the report from the State Child Welfare Council.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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