Andhra Pradesh: WD&CW, CWC, CCI officials pulled up for death of tribal girl

Officials of APSCPCR verify records, dormitories at Chiguru Home

August 23, 2022 08:20 pm | Updated 08:20 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Officials OF Women and Child Welfare Department and SCPCR of Guntur and Krishna districts conducting an inquiry on the death of a tribal girl, at Venkatapalem village on Tuesday.

Officials OF Women and Child Welfare Department and SCPCR of Guntur and Krishna districts conducting an inquiry on the death of a tribal girl, at Venkatapalem village on Tuesday.

Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (APSCPCR) expressed concern over the negligence of the Child Care Institution (CCI) and the Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW) Department officials on the death of a tribal girl, Vakalamma, on August 19.

The Commission observed that the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) of NTR District, did not keep track of the four Yanadi girls after referring them to the CCI.

SCPCR member B. Padmavathi, who probed the death of the girl, said though the four siblings were rescued from Madhura Nagar Railway Station in Vijayawada, on July 2, but the CWC had sent the orders to Chiguru Home, Nava Jeevan Bala Bhavan (NJBB) on July 27, on placement of the girls.

No intimation

“Neither the CWC nor the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) of NTR district have followed up on the case and on the health condition of girls, who were aged between four and 11, which caused the death,” Ms. Padmavathi said.

The Commission observed that the Chiguru Home staff have not intimated the Railway Protection Force (who rescued the children), the DCPU, District Probation Officer of the WD&CW Project Director about the death of Vakalamma.

The officers visited the dormitory where Vakalamma stayed, verified the records and interacted with the inmates of the home.

WD&CW Project Director G. Uma Devi on Tuesday said ChildLine staff and RPF rescued the children from the railway station at around 11.30 p.m, on July 2, took them to an NGO home at 12.30 a.m., who reportedly refused to take them in. They were brought to Railway Childline at 2 a.m. and kept at the railway station.

Negligence found

“The officers concerned have not visited Chiguru Home and enquired about the condition of the rescued girls during their 40-day stay, and no health check up was conducted for them at CCI,” said Guntur DCPO and inquiry officer Ch. Vijay Kumar.

“The four children were shifted to different places in the night, and brought to Chiguru Home at 6 a.m. the next day. The children underwent a lot of suffering, which is nothing but a violation of child rights,” the PD said.

“The negligence of the DCPU, CWC and the CCI caused the death of the girl. The Commission observed that there were no proper records on the placement of Vakalamma and her three sisters, their health condition and other details with the officials. Had the officers noticed the health condition of the girl and provided better treatment, she would have survived,” SCPCR Chairman K. Appa Rao told The Hindu.

A report on the failure of the SOP in producing the children, health condition of the rescued tribal girls and on the negligence would be submitted to the government, the Commission Chairman said.

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