The meeting at Dhanbad district collectorate on Monday. (Gautam Dey)
A silver lining is playing peekaboo with those left on the streets to fend for themselves.
Destitute children, who are found wandering at public places and often fall prey to criminals, will soon get a temporary shelter at two different places in Dhanbad.
However, their final rehabilitation is still a distant dream. For, the state government is yet to allocate funds to the district to set up a permanent home for these children.
Till then, girls aged between six and 18 years will be accommodated at hostels of Kasturba Gandhi Awasiya Balika Vidyalaya at Jharia, Sindri, Tundi, Nirsa, Baghmara and Katras, while boys of the same age group will find shelter at Abhoy Sundri Awasiya Vidyalaya in Hirapur.
Run by the district education department under the Centre’s flagship programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, both the cradles are residential schools meant for orphans, SC, ST, OBC and minority children. The department had recently sanctioned a largesse of Rs 1.33 crore for the renovation of the double-storey hostel of Abhoy Sundri Awasiya Vidyalaya.
The decision to provide temporary shelter to these children was taken at a meeting of the advisory committee of Dhanbad chapter of Childline, an NGO, at the district collectorate on Monday.
“Childline has been facing difficulty in arranging accommodation for the destitutes who are rescued by police from railway stations and other places. According to rules, no child can be kept at the NGO office for more than 24 hours and has to be accommodated at a proper home,” said Childline co-ordinator, Dhanbad, Munmum Pandey.
Pandey also informed the officers present that any child recovered by the police could not be handed over to the family directly. Rather, the victim should be brought to either Childline office or handed over to Children Welfare Committee. After that, the child should be counselled and an inquiry done.
He/she is handed over to the family only after a hearing before the Child Welfare Committee. Issues such as creation of Childline booths at railway stations were also discussed.
The meeting, which was chaired by Dhanbad deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar, was attended by district education officer Dharmadeo Rai, superintendent of police Anup T. Matthew and subdivisional officer Abhishek Srivastava, among others.