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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Vacant posts, poor infra ail childcare units: Audit

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23

More than 52 per cent of the Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in the state don't have counsellors, 67 per cent face shortage of medical officers, 58 per cent are doing without sick rooms and 54 per cent lack staff residence.

These facts have come to light in this year's social audit of all 88 CCIs across the state. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) conducted the audit of all CCIs across the country.

In Haryana, the audit report paints a somber picture. A pointer to the sorry state of affairs, though not part of the report, came to the fore last week. A five-year-old mentally challenged girl was found confined illegally in an open shelter home in Panipat, following which the Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (HSCPCR) had recommended closure of the shelter home.

"We released the report recently and informed

the departments concerned about its findings," said NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo.

There are 54 children's homes in the state, 20 shelter homes, eight specialised adoption agencies, four observation homes and two special homes. Of the 88 CCIs, 63 come under NGOs or trusts and the remaining 25 under the state government.

As per the Juvenile Justice Model Rules, 2016, every CCI should have a management committee and it should convene a meeting at least once every month. The report, however, states 11 CCIs (12.5 per cent of 88) don't have management committees. Of the remaining 77 CCIs, 61 institutions are not convening a meeting at least once a month.

On the shortage of staff, the audit report points out that close to 65 per cent of the CCIs don't have child welfare officers, more than 76 per cent are doing without the paramedical staff, more than 69 per cent need the housekeeping staff, 17 per cent make do without cooks and close to 40 per cent have the posts of store keeper-cum-accountant vacant.

On infrastructure, the report says only 58 per cent of the CCIs have recreation rooms and just 42 per cent have counselling rooms. More than 76 per cent have bathrooms and 68.2 per cent have toilets. Close to 32 per cent don't have child-friendly exclusive toilets and about 24 per cent lack child-friendly exclusive bathrooms.

When contacted, Jyoti Bainda, HSCPCR chairperson, said: "We will take appropriate action on the basis of the audit report."

Grim Scenario

65% CCIs don't have child welfare officers

67% CCIs doing without medical officers

16% lack individual beds for children

18% don't plan meals in consultation with kids



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