The State government on Thursday informed a division Bench of the Kerala High Court that the Ernakulam District Collector and the Kochi Corporation were taking steps to ensure the welfare of inmates at the Kafarnam orphanage in Vaduthala.
The government made the submission before the Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K. Vinod Chandran when a public interest writ petition filed by High Court lawyer Basil Attipetty came up for hearing.
The petitioner cited a January 25 report in The Hindu and contended that the children were sheltered along with the aged and mentally-challenged persons at the orphanage.
As many as 244 inmates had been accommodated in the orphanage. The petitioner, who visited the orphanage following the news report, found that the condition of the asylum to be pathetic .
Urgent steps needed
The inmates needed urgent and immediate attention of the authorities concerned.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 provided for special attention to children in need of care and protection.
Article 21 violated
The orphanage was being run in violation of the Act, the report had found. Besides, the right to live with dignity, guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution had been violated.
The petitioner sought a directive to the Child Welfare Committee and the District Collector to visit the orphanage and take steps to ensure that the inmates live in decent and humane conditions. The court adjourned hearing on the petition by two weeks.
The Hindu had reported that around 15 children at the asylum below the age of six, including some mentally challenged ones, had just one person in charge of them.
The Welfare Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation, who visited the orphanage, found that no school was run from the asylum.