276 have been accommodated at two other institutions at the same complex
About 276 inmates of St. Anne’s Home for Children, which was ordered to be closed by the district administration on Wednesday, have been accommodated at two other institutions at St. Anne’s complex in the city.
The home, accommodating about 534 girls from various districts, was ordered to be closed from February 5 by Collector Jayashree Muralidharan based on the recommendations of the District Child Welfare Committee and Revenue officials on the grounds that the home did not have adequate amenities and there were violations of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act.
According to sources, the District Child Welfare Committee had received complaints from some inmates alleging inadequate amenities.
The chairperson and the committee members, during inspections, found that the hostel did not have bathroom for the children.
The children were asked to bathe in the open that too only once in a few days.
Medical checks had revealed that many children suffered from skin ailment.
The district administration had ordered the shifting of the inmates to other homes and allowed only children of class 10, 11, and 12 to remain there until their examinations.
The institution authorities had said that they would restore the children to their parents and had asked them to come to the institution.
However, many parents who thronged the institution since Wednesday strongly objected to the shifting of their children to other institutions and insisted that the children be allowed to continue at the home until the end of the academic year.
“Where can we admit our children towards the fag end of the academic year? Their studies will be affected,” said Rani, a parent.
High drama prevailed on Thursday when Revenue officials sealed a couple of rooms at the home and attempted to shift the inmates.
Protesting the move, a group of parents along with their children blocked the road in front of the institution near Melapudur.
Nineteen persons were taken into custody by the police.
Revenue Divisional Officer A. Basheer, officials of the Social Welfare Department, representatives of the District Child Welfare Committee, the institution, and parents held talks during the day to find a solution to the stalemate.
After the end of the meeting, the institution was permitted to accommodate children studying in class 4 to 9 at St. James Home and the Community College functioning at the same complex of St. Anne’s group of institutions.
Meanwhile, the District Child Welfare Committee has lodged a complaint with the police against the president, secretary, and treasurer of St. Anne’s Society alleging violations of child rights at the home.