New lease of life
Jamshedpur, March 16: The fate of 14 children, most of whom had found their way into a government shelter after being scolded by their parents or had been abandoned by their families, is set to change for the better.
For, Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (JSCPCR) has decided to transfer these children from the Observation Home at Ghaghidih to a government-funded residential school for orphans.
On Tuesday, officials of SCPCR, led by chairperson Rooplakhsmi Munda, visited the home that has 34 children in all. They selected the 14 after realising that none of them was there for any fault of their own.
No one had any criminal charges against them. A few of them may have been nabbed for pick-pocketing though.
“These children have right to a better life. How long can you keep them in a place where there is no future? If transferred, they would receive education along with food and water. Every child deserves an opportunity,” said SCPCR member Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
The children, all under 14, fell in the category of those in need of care and protection, explained SCPCR officials. Hence, they decided to shift them to a school and zeroed in on Anath Awasiya Vidyalaya in Agrico, a government-funded residential school for orphans with classes I to VIII.
The children, said the officials, were apprehended or rescued from various parts of the country. While some were caught travelling on trains without tickets after they ran away from home, others were abandoned by their families for reasons of poverty and property disputes.
Most of them did not remember the address of their homes. Many weren’t even keen to return to their families.
Some social workers, who had been frantically searching for their families, had met with limited success. While most families could not be located, the few which were found, did not respond after repeated inquiries.
In the last three years, only a few have been reunited with their families.
East Singhbhum social welfare officer was aware of the SCPCR decision to shift the 14 children to Anath Awasiya Vidyalaya that already has 60 children on its rolls.
“We have received the directive. We are in consultation with the district education department,” said B.K. Singh, adding that they would now have to check with the residential school to see if it could accommodate the children.
“We want to ensure that these children receive food, clothes, shelter and education,” Singh said.