A report on the status of child care homes in the State is expected to be submitted to the State government shortly.
The study was commissioned a few months ago by the State Social Welfare Department in coordination with UNICEF and United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crimes. It was entrusted to People Studies, School of Media Studies of the Loyola College, Chennai. Around 400 volunteers were deployed to carry out the rapid survey, according to an official in the Social Welfare Department.
On Wednesday, the government published a list of child care homes that have registered themselves with the authorities concerned under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, as amended in 2006. According to the list, 202 homes have been registered for a period of three years.
Around 545 institutions have been given with conditional registration for want of certain certificates. The official says that those who run children’s homes are required to submit four essential certificates from departments such as Public Works for buildings’ stability, Health for sanitary conditions and Fire and Rescue Services for fire safety measures. In the event of non-governmental organisations not being able to submit all the certificates, the authorities can allow conditional registration, which will be valid for six months.
Besides, around 315 proposals are pending with the Directorate of Social Welfare for want of clarification from the NGOs.
The Department, with the help of district administration and child welfare committees, has ensured the closure of 49 NGO-run child care homes for not maintaining the prescribed minimum standards. The official points out that when the closure is ordered, the respective district police officials are kept informed so that such organisations do not open the homes elsewhere.
Of those homes that have been allowed registration, 34 homes are located in Tirunelveli district. This is followed by 24 homes in Vellore; 19 each in Tiruvannamalai and Tuticorin and 12 in Erode.
The lists of registered homes and those which have been given conditional registration are available on the website of the Tamil Nadu government.
An official release stated that 1,600 metal badges with the inscription, “Child Welfare Officer,” had been prepared. They were being sent to the District Superintendents of Police so that the badges could be issued to the designated Child Welfare Officers in each police station.
During the medal parade here on Monday, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi handed over the badges to the DGP Letika Saran.
An officer in the rank of sub-inspector or head constable had been trained in each police station. The Inspector General of Police (Crime) had been designated by the Director General of Police as the nodal police officer.