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53 minors set free from illegal shelter home

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CHILDLINE 1098 Service » 1098 News » 53 minors set free from illegal shelter home

Non-registration of shelter homes remains a massive problem. Many homes are not registered under Section 34(3) of the JJ (C&PC) Act, 2000, inspection is seldom carried out in these unregistered homes and children remain extremely vulnerable to abuse in these homes. Improving the quality of child care in residential institutions and shelters is a major challenge that needs to be addressed.

In many cases, it is the 'care-givers' i.e. those who are entrusted with the care of the children in institutions, who are the abusers. The need of the hour is for these institutions to function as substitute families which must provide for the child's physical, emotional and development needs as a large number of children in India end up within institutional care.

53 minors set free from illegal shelter home

CHILDLINE received a complaint informing the plight of children kept in an unregistered children's home, the RK Trust orphanage located in Kadachanendal, Madurai which was being operated without proper amenities. 53 children were housed in unhygienic rooms with an asbestos roof. Children were not given proper food nor was there proper protection for them. Children were also reportedly given leftovers from weddings and other functions as food on a daily basis.

CHILDLINE's team immediately visited the home and confirmed the complaint. Initially, the children were scared to talk to them. However, the team persisted and built a rapport with the kids to dig out information. CHILDLINE also informed the members of the CWC and the Police officials about the case and requested help to rescue the children.

An inspection committee comprising members of CHILDLINE, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), District Social Welfare Department, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Anti-Human Trafficking Squad and personnel from Appan Tirupathi police station visited the home and rescued the children from RK Trust. All the 53 children from the home were rescued and presented to CWC who directed to hand over 14 children to their parents after providing counselling to their parents, while 39 were admitted to Balamandiram Boys Home and Sevashram Girls Home.

The owner of RK Trust orphanage located in Kadachanendal, Madurai was arrested by the local police for not having registered the orphanage under the Juvenile Justice Act and violating infrastructure and hygiene norms. The FIR was filed by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), after CHILDLINE Madurai rescued 53 children from the shelter home. The children included 27 boys and 26 girls, in the age bracket of 6 to 15 years.

Following the rescue of the children, L. Subramanian, Collector ordered the closure of R.K. Trust Children’s Home for not having registered itself under the Juvenile Justice Act and for violating infrastructure and hygiene norms. The District collector appreciated the efforts and initiatives of CHILDLINE in rescuing the children from the illegal home.