Left out, abused: on the state of child care institutions

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Left out, abused: on the state of child care institutions

The shocking neglect of child care institutions must be urgently reversed
Child care(देखभाल ) institutions(संस्थान) in India have been trapped(फंस गया) in an administrative blind spot(अस्पष्ट जगह/अंध स्थान,), as revelations(खुलासे) of the sexual abuse(यौन शोषण) of inmates(कैदियों) in a balika grih at Muzaffarpur in Bihar showed last year. A home meant to protect girls rescued(बचाया) from exploitation(शोषण ) itself turned into a den of predation(शिकार). The shocking rot in the management of such shelters(आश्रयों/बचाव) has now been reported by a Central government committee. It studied 9,589 Child Care Institutions and Homes, mostly run by NGOs, that come under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. Only an emergency(आपातकालीन) measure(उपाय) to address the serious(गंभीर रूप से) lacunae(खामियों/ पीड़ित) can bring some semblance(समानता ) of order to these faceless shelters. Most of the inmates are orphaned(अनाथ), abandoned(छोड़ा हुआ/त्यागा हुआ), sexually abused, trafficked(तस्करी) or victims(शिकार) of disasters(आपदाओं./विपत्ति) and conflict(संघर्ष ). Among them are 7,422 children in conflict with the law, and 3,70,227 in need of care and protection( सुरक्षा,), including(समेत) 1,70,375 girls. That they often have to live in facilities(सुविधाएं) without proper toilets, secure(सुरक्षित) compounds or the opportunity(अवसर/मौक़ा) to vent(दूर करें/छोड़ना) their grievances(शिकायतों/कष्ट) as provided for under law underscores the painful(दर्दनाक) reality(वास्तविकता ) that they remain virtually(वास्तव में/असल में) invisible(अदृश्य). Reform of this depressing(निराशाजनक ) system, as the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeks, can be achieved(प्राप्त किया) only through systematic(व्यवस्थित) scrutiny( जांच) by State governments. This could be done by appointing special officers whose task it would be to ensure(सुनिश्चित ) that all institutions register under the JJ Act, account for funds received by each, and enforce(लागू करना/बाध्य करना) mandatory(अनिवार्य ) child protection policies during(दौरान) adoption(गोद लेने/स्वीकृति).

As per the recently disclosed(खुलासा) study, only 32% of Child Care Institutions or Homes were registered under the JJ Act as of 2016, while an equal number were unregistered(अपंजीकृत), and the rest were either empanelled under other schemes or awaiting registration. The priority(प्राथमिकता ) should be to bring about uniformity of standards and procedures( प्रक्रियाएं,), evolving(विकसित करना/उद्विकासी) common norms for infrastructure, human resources(संसाधन), financial practices and external audits. The panel found child care standards were poor in many institutions, sans proper bedding, food and nutrition(पोषण) and sanitation(स्वच्छता). Some States obviously(जाहिर है/स्पष्टतः) have too few homes, giving authorities little incentive(प्रोत्साहन) to take up cases of children in distress. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala together account for 43.5% of all shelters. A few States do not have even one home of every category, such as child care, observation(निगरानी/अवलोकन)and adoption. The Ministry’s study lays bare the disconnect between civil society and the welfare(कल्याणकारी) system for children, and the poor engagement elected representatives(प्रतिनिधि) have with such a vital( महत्वपूर्ण ) function. The imperative now is to turn the findings of the Ministry’s committee into a blueprint for action. Credentialed NGOs should take a greater interest in this effort, holding the authorities to account.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1. Trapped(फंस गया)
Synonyms: captured, cornered, ambushed, at bay

2. Inmates(कैदियों)
Synonyms: convict, prisoner, internee, jailbird

3. Rescued(बचाया)
Synonyms: extricate, free, keep, liberate, preserve
Antonyms: give, harm, old, hurt, injure

4. Semblance(समानता )
Synonyms: pretense, veneer, affinity, air, alikeness
Antonyms: reality, back, character, concrete, difference

5. Lacunae(खामियों/ पीड़ित
Synonyms: break, cavity, depression, gap, hiatus
Antonyms: closure, continuation, continuity, misfortune

6. Disasters(आपदाओं./विपत्ति)
Synonyms: calamity, catastrophe, collapse, crash, debacle
Antonyms: achievement, advantage, attainment, benefit

7. Depressing(निराशाजनक )
Synonyms: bleak, daunting, disheartening, dismal, dispiriting
Antonyms: bright, cheerful, comforting, encouraging

8. Grievances(शिकायतों/कष्ट)
Synonyms: grief, hardship, injustice, objection, outrage
Antonyms: delight, happiness, joy, advantage, aid

9. Revelations(खुलासे)
Synonyms: announcement, discovery, epiphany, leak, news
Antonyms: concealment, cover, hiding, quiet, secret

10. Ensure(सुनिश्चित )
Synonyms: assure, establish, insure, protect, provide
Antonyms: endanger, harm, hurt, injure, contradict

11. Depressing(निराशाजनक )
Synonyms: bleak, daunting, disheartening, dismal, dispiriting
Antonyms: bright, cheerful, comforting, encouraging, exhilarating

12. Scrutiny( जांच)
Synonyms: analysis, audit, inquiry, inspection, investigation

13. Trafficked(तस्करी)
Synonyms: bargain, barter, bootleg, contact, deal
Antonyms: buy, conceal, hide, hold, keep

14. Evolving(विकसित करना/उद्विकासी)
Synonyms: derive, emerge, expand, get, grow
Antonyms: leave, lessen, stop, decrease, diminish

15. Welfare(कल्याणकारी
Synonyms: benefit, health, interest, progress, well-being
Antonyms: disadvantage, depression, discontent, dissatisfaction, loss

16. Vital( महत्वपूर्ण )
Synonyms: basic, critical, crucial, decisive, fundamental
Antonyms: additional, extra, inessential, insignificant

17. Observation(निगरानी/अवलोकन
Synonyms: conclusion, consideration, examination, experience, information
Antonyms: heedlessness, ignorance, neglect, unobservance, disbelief

18.Adoption(गोद लेने/स्वीकृति).
Synonyms: acceptance, approval, enactment, endorsement, maintenance
Antonyms: disapproval, opposition, refusal, rejection, pass

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

The shocking neglect of child care institutions must be urgently reversed
Child care institutions in India have been trapped in an administrative blind spot, as revelations of the sexual abuse of inmates in a balika grih at Muzaffarpur in Bihar showed last year. A home meant to protect girls rescued from exploitation itself turned into a den of predation. The shocking rot in the management of such shelters has now been reported by a Central government committee. It studied 9,589 Child Care Institutions and Homes, mostly run by NGOs, that come under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. Only an emergency measure to address the serious lacunae can bring some semblance of order to these faceless shelters. Most of the inmates are orphaned, abandoned, sexually abused, trafficked or victims of disasters and conflict. Among them are 7,422 children in conflict with the law, and 3,70,227 in need of care and protection, including 1,70,375 girls. That they often have to live in facilities without proper toilets, secure compounds or the opportunity to vent their grievances as provided for under law underscores the painful reality that they remain virtually invisible. Reform of this depressing system, as the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeks, can be achieved only through systematic scrutiny by State governments. This could be done by appointing special officers whose task it would be to ensure that all institutions register under the JJ Act, account for funds received by each, and enforce mandatory child protection policies during adoption.

As per the recently disclosed study, only 32% of Child Care Institutions or Homes were registered under the JJ Act as of 2016, while an equal number were unregistered, and the rest were either empanelled under other schemes or awaiting registration. The priority should be to bring about uniformity of standards and procedures, evolving common norms for infrastructure, human resources, financial practices and external audits. The panel found child care standards were poor in many institutions, sans proper bedding, food and nutrition and sanitation. Some States obviously have too few homes, giving authorities little incentive to take up cases of children in distress. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala together account for 43.5% of all shelters. A few States do not have even one home of every category, such as child care, observation and adoption. The Ministry’s study lays bare the disconnect between civil society and the welfare system for children, and the poor engagement elected representatives have with such a vital function. The imperative now is to turn the findings of the Ministry’s committee into a blueprint for action. Credentialed NGOs should take a greater interest in this effort, holding the authorities to account.

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