Alappuzha: Child rights panel pulls up Balabhavan

The commission asked the district child protection officer to register it under the JJ Act.

Alappuzha: The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) has pulled up the Nirmalananda Balabhavan run by the Sri Rama Krishna ashram at Kayamkulam for its negligence and harassment of the inmates. This follows an investigation conducted by the commission in the wake of a report published by DC on November 19, 2014.

Commission members J. Sandhya and C. U. Meena, in an order issued on March 14, asked the Scheduled Tribe welfare department to ensure child-friendly atmosphere in the Balabhavan and chalk out a roadmap to provide better care and protection to the inmates.

The commission said that a suo motu case was registered on the basis of the DC report after a visit to the Balabavan on April 19 , 2015. It found that the Balabhavan had no compound wall and that thick shrubs had covered its premises.

Since all the children belonged to the tribal community in Palakkad, the Palakkad Child Welfare Committee was asked to meet the children in their local area during the vacation and submit a report. The children told the CWC that they were given stale food and forced to clean up the surroundings of the ashram and its toilets.

It may be recalled that following the DC report, the ashram administration had filed a case against this correspondent with the Vigilance Court, Kottayam, alleging a conspiracy with the district Childline.

The commission observed that the organisation was only affiliated to the Orphanage Control Board and not registered under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 (care and protection).

The commission asked the district child protection officer to register it under the JJ Act. It found that the organisation was unable to provide better education and living standards to the children.

Though the tribal children have the right to education in schools within walking distance under the Right to Education Act (RTE), they were taken 300 km away from their homes. The SC welfare department was asked to view this situation seriously.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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